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INDIAN 
CONSTITUTIONAL DOCUMENTS. 



INDIAN CITIZEN SERIES 

EDITED BY 

PROF. P. MUKHERJI, M.A.,F.R,E.S. 

Assistant to the Minto Professor of Economics^ Calcutta University. 

I. The Co-operative Credit Movement in India by 

the Editor. Re. i/4/- 

II. The Permanent Settlement in Bengal by Prof. 

S. C. Roy, M.A., Asst. Professor of Economics > Calcutta 
University. Re. i/- 

III. Indian Constitutional Documents (1773-1915) 

Compiled and Edited with an Introduction by the 
Editor. Rs. 6/- 

OTHERS IN PREPARATION. 



fln&ian Citiseit Secies. 

INDIAN 

CONSTITUTIONAL DOCUMENTS 
(1773=1915) 

COMPILED AND EDITED 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION 



BY 

PANCHANANDAS MUKHERJI, M.A. 

Fellow of the Royal Economic Society, London ; 

Assistant to the Mlnto Professor of Economics, Calcutta University 

Formerly Professor of Economics, Rlpon College, Calcutta ; 

Asst. Editor, "The Bengal Co-operative Journal" ; 

Author of "The Co-operative Credit 

Movement In India". 



CALCUTTA : 

THACKER SPINK & Co. \/>\ C 



1915 

(All Rights Reserved.) 



I 

y< 



ERRATA. 

Introduction P. xxi, Line 2 from the top. For "Possessed by 
the Crown" read "Possessed by the Company." 
P. xxxvi, Line 7 from the bottom. For "April 
26" read "April 28." 

P. 1. Line 6 from the top. For "II. Development 
etc" read "III. Development etc." 

P. 6. Line 13 from the bottom. For "Serbordinate" read 

"Subordinate." 
P. 172. Line 22 from the bottom. For "Pretty" read "Petty." 

P. 281. Line 7 from the bottom. For "Development" read 

"Development." 

P. 372. Line 2 from the top. For "Severeign" read "Sovereign." 
P. 440. Para 5, line 2. For "Principle" read "Principal." 
Para 5, line 3. Insert a comma after "Press." 
Para 5, line 6. For "Respectively" read "Respecting." 



A 
SUPPLEMENT 

TO 

Indian Constitutional Documents 



(1773-1915) 



CONTAINING 
THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA (CONSOLIDATION) ACT, 1915, 

In the Press. 

THACKER SPINK & CO. 
CALCUTTA. 



PREFACE. 

Before the recent enactment of the Government of India 
(Consolidation) Act, Indian constitutional laws were scat- 
tered through a large number of statutes spread over about a 
century and a half. Though the Indian constitutional laws 
have now been codified into a single, all-embracing statute, 
yet its clauses can be properly understood only by 
reference to the various individual statutes referred to above. 
Besides, any one who wishes to trace the evolution of the 
present Indian constitution can only do so by studying the 
chronologically consecutive statutes relating to the consti- 
tution of the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. 
To facilitate such a study of Indian constitutional develop- 
ment I have incorporated in this volume not only the various 
important statutes (or only their important sections) which 
form landmarks in Indian constitutional development, but 
also the speeches of the responsible ministers in charge of the 
bills in either House of Parliament. These speeches (which 
are all taken from authoritative reports of Parliamentary 
Debates) not only give us an insight into the spirit under- 
lying the letter of the law, but also an exposition of the prin- 
ciples and ideals of those who were the fathers of the Indian 
constitution. Besides, I think that the speeches delivered 
in either House of Parliament by statesmen like Pitt, 
Palmerston, Disraeli, Derby, Gladstone, Morley and Asquith 
on bills which shaped the Indian constitution and defined 
the principles of the Government of India, have an intrinsic 
and perennial value of their own, and should not be allowed 
to sink into oblivion. They possess an interest and an im- 
portance which increase, instead of diminishing, as time rolls on. 

In addition to the statutes and the speeches I have also 
included in this volume epoch-making Royal Proclamations 
and Announcements, and various important Despatches and 
Resolutions enunciating principles and policies, which have 
great constitutional significance. In this connexion I have 
to express my deep obligations to the Government of India 
for having given me permission to copy out from the original 
and to publish the historic Despatch from the Court of Dir- 
ectors, dated the loth December, 1834. 



vi PREFACE. 

In the Introduction I have attempted to give brief his- 
torical summaries of (i) the rise and growth of British power 
in India from 1600 A. D. to 1765 A. D. ; (2) the development 
of the Indian Constitution from 1765 A. D. to the present 
day ; (3) the development of the system of Provincial Financial 
Settlements ; and (4) the development of Local Self-Govern- 
ment under British rule. They do not profess to be exhaustive 
original investigations, but are chiefly meant as a guide to the 
study of the various documents incorporated in this volume. 

In this book it has been my aim to preserve in one place 
and in a permanent form all the more important original docu- 
ments relating to the constitution of the Government of India, 
so that the student of Indian constitutional history, the pub- 
licist, and the Indian legislative councillor may not have any 
very great difficulty in finding out references to particular 
documents. My labours will be amply repaid if this book 
be of some help to such enquirers and if it thereby promote 
a scientific study of the Indian constitution. I shall feel 
much obliged if readers of this book will offer me any sugges- 
tions or point out to me any mistakes or omissions. 

Before I conclude, I deem it to be my duty to acknow- 
ledge my indebtedness to my esteemed colleague, Prof. S. C. 
Roy, M.A., for the constant help and encouragement which I 
have received from him in the compilation of this volume. 



DURBHANGA LIBRARY, ^ 

P. MUKHERJI. 

September the rst, 1915. ) 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



PART I. 



PART II. 



PART 



PART IV. 



SUBJECT. 

INTRODUCTION 
General Documents (1773-1858) 



I. The East India Company Act, 1773 

II. A. The East India Company Act, 1784 
B. Pitt's speech on the India Bill, 1784 

III. A. The Charter Act of 1833 

B. The Court of Directors' Despatch, 1834 
IV. A. The Charter Act of 1853 

B. Extracts from Sir Charles Wood's speech 
V. The Government of India Act, 1854 
VI, A. The Government of India Act, 1858 

B. Extracts from Viscount Palmerston's 

speech 

C. Extracts from the Earl of Derby's speech 
Documents relating to the Constitution of 

the Council of India (1869-1907) 

I. The Government of India Act, 1869 

II. The Council of India Act, 1876 

III. The Council of India Act, 1907 
Documents relating mainly to the Constitu- 
tion of (Imperial and Provincial) Execu- 
tive Government (1865-1912) 

I. The Government of India Act, 1865 
II. The Indian Councils Act, 1874 

III. The Indian Councils Act, 1904 

IV. A. The Government of India Act, 1912 
B. Extracts from Lord Crewe's speech 

Documents relating mainly to the Consti- 
tution of (Imperial and Provincial) Legis- 
lative Councils (1861-1909) ... 
I. A. The Indian Councils Act, 1861 

B. Extracts from Sir Charles Wood's speech 

II. The Indian Councils Act, 1869 



PAGE. 
xiii Ixxvii 

I-I3I 
i 

9 



27 
40 

59 
78 
84 
88 
90 

105 
119 

132-135 
132 
133 
134 



136-146 
136 
137 
138 

139 
142 



H7-339 
147 
167 
179 



viii 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



SUBJECT. PAGE. 

III. The Indian Councils Act, 1870 ... 180 

IV. The Indian Councils Act, 1871 ... 183 

V. A. The Indian Councils Act, 1892 ... 184 

B. Extracts from Lord Curzon's speech ... 188 

C. Extracts from Mr. W. E. Gladstone's 

speech ... ... ... 198 

VI. A. The Indian Councils Act, 1909 ... 202 

B. Lord Minto's Minute of August, 1906 ... 208 

C. Extracts from Lord Minto's speech, 1907 210 

D. Government of India Circular, 1907 ... 211 

E. Government of India Reform Despatch, 

1908... ... ... ... 229 

F. Lord Morley's Reform Despatch, 1908 ... 268 

G. Extracts from Lord Morley's speech, 1908 285 
H. Extracts from Lord Morley's speech, 1909 292 

I. Extracts from Mr. Asquith's speech, 1909 299 

J. The Council Regulations of 1909 307 

K. The Resolution on the Reforms, 1909 330 
PART V. Documents relating to the Constitution of 

the Indian Judiciary (1833-1911) ... 340-354 
I. The Act Establishing the Judicial Com- 
mittee, 1833 ... ... 340 
II. The Indian High Courts Act, 1861 ... 344 
III. The Indian High Courts Act, 1865 ... 351 
IV. The Indian High Courts Act, 1911 ... 353 
PART VI. Royal Proclamations and Announcements, 
and Documents connected therewith 
(1858-1911) ... ... ... 355-398 

I. A. Queen Victoria's Proclamation, 1858 ... 355 
B. Queen Victoria's Letter to the Earl of 

Derby, 1858 ... ... 358 

II. A. Queen Victoria's Proclamation, 1876 ... 359 

B. Lord Salisbury's Despatch, 1876 361 

C. The Royal Titles Act, 1876 ... ... 361 

D. Extracts from Mr. Disraeli's speech 1876 362 
III. King-Emperor Edward VII's Proclama- 
tion, 1908 ... ... ... 369 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. IX 

SUBJECT. PAGE. 

IV. H. I. M. King-Emperor George V's Letter, 

1910 ... ... ... 372 

V. A. Royal Announcements at the Coronation 

Durbar, 1911 ... ... 373 

B. Announcements by the Governor-General, 

1911-- ... ... 374 

C. The Coronation Durbar Despatch from 

the Government of India, 1911 ... 377 

D. Lord Crewe's Durbar Despatch, 1911 ... 391 
PART VII. Documents relating to Provincial Finance 

and Local Self-Government (1871-1915)... 399-466 
I. Lord Mayo's Resolution on Provincial 

Finance, 1870 ... ... ... 399 

II. Lord Ripon's Resolution on Local Self- 

Government, 1882 ... ... 408 

III. The Resolution on Provincial Finance, 

1912 ... ... ... 421 

IV. The Resolution on Local Self-Govern ment, 

1915 ... ... ... 438 

APPENDIX. The Resolution on the Extension of Provin- 
cial Finance, 1881. ... ... 467-473 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



(Chronologically Arranged.) 

SUBJECT. PACK. 

1773 Tne East I ndia Company Act ... ... ... i 

1784 The East India Company Act ... ... ... 9 

Pitt's speech on the India Bill ... ... ... 27 

1833 The Charter Act ... ... ... ... 40 

The Act Establishing the Judicial Committee ... ... 340 

1834 The Court of Director's Despatch ... ... 59 

1853 The Charter Act ... ... ... ... 78 

Extracts from Sir Charles Wood's speech ... ... 84 

1854 The Government of India Act ... ... ... 88 

1858 The Government of India Act ... ... ... 90 

Extracts from Viscount Palmerston's speech ... ... 105 

Extracts from the Earl of Derby's speech ... ... 119 

Queen Victoria's Proclamation ... ... ... 355 

Queen Victoria's Letter to the Earl of Derby ... ... 358 

1861 The Indian Councils Act ... ... ... ... 147 

Extracts from Sir Charles Wood's Speech ... ... 167 

The Indian High Courts Act ... ... ... 344 

1865 The Government of India Act ... ... ... 136 

The Indian High Courts Act ... ... ... 351 

1869 The Government; of India Act ... ... ... 132 

The Indian Councils Act ... ... ... ... 179 

1870 The Indian Councils Act ... ... ... ... 180 

Lord Mayo's Resolution on Provincial Finance ... ... 399 

1871 The Indian Councils Act ... ... ... ... 183 

1874 The Indian Councils Act ... ... ... ... 137 

1876 The Council of India Act ... ... ... ... 133 

Queen Victoria's Proclamation ... ... ... 359 

Lord Salisbury's Despatch ... ... ... ... 361 

The Royal Titles Act ... ... ... ... 361 

Extracts from Mr. Disraeli's speech ... ... ... 362 

1881 The Resolution on the Extension of Provincial Finance ... 467 



xii TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

SUBJECT. PAGE. 

1882 Lord Ripon's Resolution on Local Self-Government ... 408 

1892 The Indian Councils Act ... ... ... ... 184 

Extracts from Lord Curzon's speech ... ... ... 188 

Extracts from Mr. W. E. Gladstone's speech ... ... 198 

1904 The Indian Councils Act ... ... .. ... 138 

1906 Lord Minto's Minute ... ... ... ... 208 

1907 The Council of India Act ... ... ... ... 134 

Extracts from Lord Minto's speech ... ... ... 210 

Government of India Circular on the Reforms ... ... 211 

1908 Government of India Reform Despatch ... ... 229 

Lord Morley's Reform Despatch ... ... ... 268 

Extracts from Lord Morley's speech ... ... ... 285 

King-Emperor Edward VI I's Proclamation ... ... 369 

1909 The Indian Councils Act ... ... ... ... 202 

Extracts from Lord Morley's Speech ... ... ... 292 

Extracts from Mr. Asquith's Speech ... ... ... 299 

The Council Regulations ... ... ... ... 307 

The Resolution on the Reforms .., ... ... 330 

1910 H. I. M. King-Emperor George V's Letter ... ... 372 

1911 The Indian High Courts Act ... ... ... 353 

Royal Announcements at the Coronation Durbar ... ... 373 

Announcements by the Governor-General ... ... 374 

The Coronation Durbar Despatch from the Government of 

India ... ... ... ... ... 377 

Lord Crewe's Durbar Despatch ... ... ... 391 

1912 The Government of India Act ... ... ... 139 

Extracts from Lord Crewe's; speech ... ... ... 142 

The Resolution on Provincial Finance ... ... ... 421 

1915 The Resolution on Local Self-Government ... ... 438 



INTRODUCTION. 

1. THE RISE AND GROWTH OF BRITISH POWER 
IN INDIA FROM 1600 A.D. TO 1765 A.D. 

THE ELIZABETHAN CHARTER OF 1600, 

In the year 1600 two hundred and fifteen English knights, 
aldermen and burgesses headed by GEORGE, EARL OF CUMBER- 
LAND, petitioned ELIZABETH, QUEEN OF ENGLAND "for Our 
Royal Assent and License to be granted unto them, that they, at 
their own Adventures, costs and charges, as well for the Honour 
of this our Realm of England, as for the Increase of our Naviga- 
tion, and Advancement of Trade of Merchandise, within our 
said Realm and the Dominions of the same, might adventure 
and set forth one or more Voyages, with convenient number of 
ships and Pinnaces, by way of traffic and merchandise to the 
East Indies, in the countries and parts of Asia and Africa, 
and to as many of the islands, ports and cities, towns and 
places, thereabouts, as where Trade and Traffic may by all 
likelihood be discovered, established or had ; diverse of which 
countries, and many of the islands, cities and ports thereof, have 
long since been discovered by others of our subjects, albeit not 
frequented in Trade of merchandise." 

Accordingly on December 3ist 1600 QUEEN ELIZABETH 
'granted a charter to the said EARL GEORGE OF CUMBERLAND 
and 215 knights, aldermen and burgesses "that they and every of 
them henceforth be, and shall be one Body Corporate and 
Politic, in deed and in name, by the name of the Governor and 
Company of Merchants of London, trading into the East 
Indies." "The said Governor and Company of Merchants of 
London, trading into the East Indies, and their successors may 
have a common seal to serve for all the causes and business 
of them and their successors." The Company were to elect 
annually one Governor and 24 committees (who were individuals 
and not bodies and were the predecessors of the later 
Directors who were to have the direction of the Company's 
voyages, the provision of shipping and merchandises, the sale 
of merchandises returned, and the managing of all other things 



xiv INTRODUCTION. 

belonging to the Company. THOMAS SMITH, Alderman of 
London, was to be the first Governor. 

This Elizabethan Charter was granted fora term of 15 
years on condition that the trade was profitable to the realm ; 
otherwise, it could be determined on two year's warning. If, 
however, the realm profited by the trade, the Charter might be 
renewed for a further term of 15 years. For these 15 years the 
Company were allowed the following privileges : (a) to use any 
trade route and to have an exclusive right of trading (between 
the Cape of Good Hope and the straits of Magellan), with power 
to grant licenses to trade, unauthorised traders being liable 
to forfeiture of all their belongings and to other penalties ;* 
(b) to make reasonable "laws, constitutions, orders and ordin- 
ances" not contrary or repugnant to the laws, statutes or customs 
of the English realm for the good government of the 
Company and its affairs-)- ; (c) to impose such fines or penalties 
as might be necessary for enforcing these laws. 

All such apprentices of any member of the Company, and 
all such servants or factors of the Company and "all such others" 
as were found eligible by the majority present at a "Court" 
might be admitted into the body of the Company. The members 
of the Company, their sons at the age of twenty-one years and 
their factors, apprentices and servants had the exclusive trading 
privileges of the Company. Members could gain full admission 
to the Company normally through the avenue of apprenticeship 
or service. But "others" could be admitted, provided they 
offered suitable contribution to the adventure of the Company. 

"The most noticeable difference," says ILBERT, "between the 
Charter and modern instruments of association of a similar 
character is the absence of any reference to the capital of the 
Company and the corresponding qualifications and voting powers 

* QUEEN ELIZABETH charges and commands her subjects not to infringe the 
privileges granted by her to the Company upon the pain of forfeiture and other 
penalties. At that time when HUGO GROTIUS, the father of modern International 
Law, was still in his teens, the region known as India was thought to be only a 
res nullius and there was no doubt as to the expediency as apart from the constitu- 
tionality of granting a trade monopoly of this description. "Such monopolies" 
says ILBERT, "were in strict accordance with the ideas, and were justified by the 
circumstances of the time. Beyond certain narrow territorial limits international 
law did not run, diplomatic relations had no existence. Outside these limits force 
alone ruled and trade competition meant war." 

t These legislative powers of the Company did not differ in their general 
provisions from, and were evidently modelled on, the powers of making by-laws 
commonly exercised by ordinary municipal and commercial corporations. 



INTRODUCTION. XV 

of members. It appears from the Charter that the adventurers 
had undertaken to contribute towards the first voyage certain 
sums of money : failure to pay their contributions was to 
involve 'removal and disenfranchisement' of the defaulters. But 
the Charter does not specify the amount of the several contribu- 
tions (the total amount subscribed in September 1599 was 
30,133 and there were 101 subscribers), and for all that appears 
to the contrary, each adventurer was to be equally eligible to 
th^e office of Committee, and to have equal voting power in the 
general court. The explanation is that the Company belonged 
at the outset to the simpler and looser form of association to 
which the City Companies then belonged, and still belong, and 
which used to be known by the name of 'Regulated Companies.' 
The members of such a Company were subject to certain 
common regulations and were entitled to certain common 
privileges, but each of them traded on his own separate capital, 
and there was no joint stock. During the first twelve years of 
its existence the Company traded on the principle of each 
subscriber contributing separately to the expense of each voyage, 
and reaping the whole profits of his subscription. The voyages 
during these 12 years are therefore known as 'Separate voyages.' 
But after 1612 the subscribers threw their contributions into a 
'joint stock' and thus converted themselves from a regulated 
company into a joint stock Company which, however, differed 
widely in its constitution, from the joint-stock companies of 
the present day." 

THE STUART CHARTERS (1609-1687). 

In the meantime JAMES I had in 1609 renewed the charter 
of ELIZABETH : the only material point of difference between 
ELIZABETH'S charter and JAMES'S charter is that the latter was 
made perpetual subject to determination after three years' 
notice on proof of injury to the nation. The legislative powers 
granted by ELIZABETH'S charter being insufficient for the 
punishment of grosser offences and for the maintenance of 
discipline on long voyages, a Royal Charter of December 
1615 granted the Company the power of issuing a com- 
mission to its " general" in charge of a voyage to inflict punish- 
ments for non-capital offences and to put in execution martial 
law, subject to the proviso of requiring the verdict of a jury in 
the case of capital offences. In 1623 JAMES I gave the Com- 
pany the power of issuing similar commissions to their pre- 



XVI INTRODUCTION. 

sidents and other chief officers, authorizing them to punish 
in like manner offences committed by the Company's servants 
on land, subject to the like proviso as to the submission of 
capital cases to the verdict of a jury. 

From 1624 to 1660 the Company were mainly occupied 
with their contests with Dutch competitors and English rivals. 
Indeed in 1657 the Company, driven to despair, threatened 
to withdraw their factories from India, till CROMWELL, who had 
long hesitated as to his course, granted them a new charter. 
At the Restoration CROMWELL'S charter was conveniently 
ignored, but the Company obtained a similar one from CHARLES 
II (1661), which granted them the right to coin money and 
exercise jurisdiction over English subjects in the East. 

It was in this year (1661) that the port and island of 
Bombay was ceded to the KING CHARLES II as part of the 
marriage dowry of the INFANTA OF PORTUGAL. Eight years 
later (1669) they were presented by him to the Company "to be 
held of the crown for the annual rent of 10" The Company 
also owned at this time some other trading depots, or (as they 
were styled) factories,* on the west coast of India. Similar 
depots were subsequently established at Madras, and other 
places on the east coast, and still later in Bengal. In 
course of time the factories at Bombay, Madras and Calcutta 
became the three principal settlements, to which the others were 
placed in subordination. 

Eight years after the gift of Bombay by CHARLES 1 1 to the 
Company (i.e. in 1677) a Royal Charter empowered the com- 
pany to coin money at Bombay to be called by the name of 
" rupees, pices and budj rooks " or such other names as the 
Company might think fit. These coins were to be current 
in the East Indies, but not in England. (A mint for the 
coinage of pagodas f had been established at Madras some 
years before). At this time justice was administered at 
Bombay by (i\ an inferior court, with limited jurisdiction, 
consisting of a civil officer of the Company and two Indian 
officers, and (2) a Supreme Court consisting of the deputy 

" These factories or settlements comprised, in the first instance, merely a few 
acres of ground occupied by the Company's warehouses and the residences of their 
officers ; and they were held only under favour of the native sovereign of the terri- 
tories in which they were situated " Chesney, Indian Polity, p. 26. 

f Pagoda a Madras coin of the value of about 8 shillings of English money. 



INTRODUCTION. xvn 

governor and council, whose decisions were to be final and 
without appeal, except in cases of the greatest necessity. The 
charter of 1683, however, declared that a Court of Judicature 
should be established at such places as the Company might 
appoint and that it should consist of one person learned in the 
civil laws and two merchants to be appointed by the Company 
to try cases " according to the rules of equity and good con- 
science, and according to the laws and customs of the mer- 
chants." About this time when the forces of rebellion and 
disruption were manifest all over India, the company pro- 
claimed (1687) in memorable and prophetic words that they 
intended to "establish such a polity of civil and military 

power, and create and secure such a large revenue as may 

be the foundation of a large, well-grounded, sure English domi- 
nion in India for all time to come." The company determined 
to consolidate their position in India on the basis of territorial 
sovereignty, to enable them to resist the oppression of the 
Moghuls and Marhattas. 

In the same year, KING JAMES II, exercising his royal 
prerogative of creating municipal corporations, delegated to 
the East India Company the power of establishing by charter 
a municipality at Madras (according to the approved English 
type), consisting of a mayor, twelve aldermen and sixty or more 
burgesses. This charter of 1687 appears to be the last of the 
Stuart Charters affecting the East India Company. 



THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN THE OLD "LONDON" AND 

THE NEW "ENGLISH" COMPANIES : THEIR 

FINAL AMALGAMATION IN 1708. 

In the next year (1688) the Company laid down their 
future policy in the following resolution said to have been 
penned by SIR JOSIAH CHILD 

"The increase of our revenue is the subject of our care,... as much as 
our trade ; 'tis that must maintain our force when twenty accidents may 
interrupt our trade ; 'tis that must make us a nation in India. Without 
that we are but as a great number of interlopers, united by His Majesty's 
Royal charter, fit only to trade where nobody of power thinks it their 
interest to prevent us. And upon this account it is that the wise Dutch, in 
all their general advices which we have seen, write ten paragraphs concern- 
ing their government, their civil and military policy, warfare, and the 
increase of their revenue, for one paragraph they write concerning trade." 



xviii INTRODUCTION. 

" This famous resolution," says ILBERT, 
unmistakable terms the determination of the Company to guard 
their commercial supremacy on the basis of their territorial 
sovereignty and foreshadows the annexations of the next 
century." 

Meanwhile, however, the Company had to confront a 
determined and organized opposition. For many years indivi- 
dual interlopers had defied the Company's sole claim to the 
market of the Eastern trade, one of the most famous being 
THOMAS PITT, the grandfather of LORD CHATHAM, who thus 
founded the fortunes of his family. In 1691 the enemies of the 
Company formed themselves into a New Company and assailed 
the monopoly of the Old Company. They raised the Constitu- 
tional question whether the Crown could grant a monopoly of 
trade without the authority of Parliament. The question, though 
it had been already answered in the affirmative some years 
ago by the LORD CHIEF JUSTICE JEFFREYS in his judgment on 
the great case of the East India Company vs Sandys* (1683-85) 
was again discussed and decided by the Privy Council in favour 
of the Old Company. The monopoly of the Old Company was 
accordingly renewed by the Charter of 1693. As if to emphasise 
this fact of renewal of the monopoly of trade to the East 
Indies the Directors used their powers to effect the detention 
of a ship called the Redbridge which was lying in the Thames 
and was believed to be bound for countries beyond the Cape 
of Good Hope. The legality of this detention was questioned and 
the matter came up before Parliament in 1694. The House of 
Commons passed a resolution disclaiming the right of the 
Company to detain the Redbridge on the Thames because the 
Company suspected that it was going to trade within their own 
preserves. They declared "that all subjects of England have 
equal rights to trade with the East Indies unless prohibited by 
Acts of Parliament." "It has ever since been held," writes 
MACAULAY, "to be the sound doctrine that no power but that of 

* In this case the Company brought an action against MR. SANDYS for 
trading to the East Indies without a license. The Lord Chief Justice, in giving 
judgment for the plaintiff Company laid down (i) that by the laws of nations, the 
ragulations and restraints of trade and commerce are reckoned Inter Juris Regalia 
i.e. the prerogatives of the Supreme Magistrate. (2) That, though by the laws of this 
land and by the the laws of all other nations, monopolies are prohibited, yet 
societies to trade, such as the plaintiff Company, to certain places exclusive of others, 
are no monopolies by the laws of this land, but are allowed to be formed both here 
and in other countries and are strengthened by the usage and practice of both at all 
times. 



INTRODUCTION. XIX 

the whole legislature can give to any persons or to any society 
exclusive privilege of trade to any part of the world." So 
the Constitutional point was settled and for the first time 
Parliament asserted its right to interfere in the affairs of the 
Company. As ILBERT puts it, "the question whether the 
trading privileges of the East India Company should be 
continued was removed from the Council Chamber to Parlia- 
ment and the period of control by Act of Parliament over 
the affairs of the Company began." 

The first Act of Parliament for regulating the trade to the 
East Indies was passed in 1698 when, on providing CHARLES 
MON,TAGU, CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER, with a loan of 
.2,000,000, the new association was constituted by Act of 
Parliament a General Society, to which was granted the ex- 
clusive trade to India, saving the rights of the Old Company 
until they expired in three years' time. The great majority of 
the subscribers to the General Society, which was on a 
"regulated" basis, at once formed themselves into a Joint Stock 
Company and were incorporated by the Crown as the "English 
Company trading to the East Indies," to distinguish it from 
the Old or London Company. The latter, to safeguard 
themselves, by an adroit move, subscribed 315,000 to the 
funds of the General Society in the name of their treasurer, 
JOHN Du Bois. 

Thus the position after 1698 was curiously complicated. 
Four classes of merchants had the right to trade to the East 
Indies (D the New Company ; (2) the Old Company trading 
on their original capital until 1701, and after that on the 
limited subscription of 315,000; (3) those subscribers to 
the General Society who had held aloof from the Joint 
Stock of the New Company, their capital amounting to 
about 22,000 ; (4) a few separate traders who, relying 
on the Commons' resolution of 1694, had sent out ships prior 
to 1698 and had been permitted to complete their voyages. 
The two latter were comparatively unimportant and may be left 
out of account. Between the two Companies Old and New 
there followed a desperate struggle which partially came to an 
end in 1702 when, on pressure from the Crown and Parliament, 
the two Companies were forced into a preliminary union. The 
Old Company was called upon to buy 673,000 additional 
stock in the General Society to make their share equal to that 
of their rivals. The dead stock i.e. houses, factories, and forts 



XX INTRODUCTION. 

of the Old Company, were valued at 330,000 and of the New 
at 70,000, and the latter had to pay 130,000 to make up for 
the discrepancy. After six years of negotiation and compromise 
in 1708 the union was made absolute by Parliament, all points 
in dispute being settled by the arbitration of the Earl of 
GODOLPHIN ; a further loan of 1,200,000 was made to the 
state, and the amalgamation of the "London" and the "English" 
Companies was finally carried out under the style of the 
"United Company of Merchants of England trading to the East 
Indies." In 1709 QUEEN ANNE accepted the surrender of the 
London Company's charters and thus terminated their separate 
existence. Subject to changes made by statutes the original 
charter of the New or English Company thus came to be, in point 
of law, the root of all the powers and privileges of the United 
Company which continued to bear its new name up to 1833. 

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF COURTS. 

In less than twenty years after the United Company was 
established under the Act of QUEEN ANNE, its Court and 
Directors represented by petition to GEORGE I that there was 
great want at Madras, Fort William and Bombay of a proper 
and competent power and authority for the more speedy and 
effectual administering of justice in civil causes and for trying 
and punishing of capital and other criminal offences and mis- 
demeanours ; and they accordingly prayed for permission to 
establish Mayor's courts at those places. Thereupon the 
existing courts, whatever they may have been, were superseded 
and in 1726 the Crown by letters patent established Mayor's 
Courts at those places. These courts were composed of a 
Mayor and nine aldermen, seven of whom were required to be 
British subjects. From these courts an appeal lay in cases the 
value of which was under 1000 pagodas to the Governor and 
Council, and, in higher cases, to the Privy Council. The Govern- 
ment Court also had powers in criminal matters. The constitution 
of these courts was amended in 1753 when a Court of Requests 
at each of the said places was established for petty cases up to 
five pagodas. The chief feature of this charter of 1753 was 
that the courts which were established were limited in their 
civil jurisdiction to suits between persons who were not natives 
of the several towns to which the jurisdiction applied. Suits 
between Indians were expressly excepted from the jurisdiction 
of the Mayor's Court and directed to be determined among 
themselves. 



INTRODUCTION, xxi 

II. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION 
FROM 1765 TO THE PRESENT DAY. 

THE GRANT OP THE DEWANI. 

Such was the extent of the executive, legislative and 
judicial authority possessed by the Crown during the middle 
of the eighteenth century. Meanwhile great acquisitions of 
territory were being made and the position of the company 
was being gradually changed from that of tenants of factories to 
territorial sovereigns. 

The first possession of the English in India, as we have 
already seen, was the island of Bombay, ceded to CHARLES II 
in 1 66 1 by the KING OF PORTUGAL as part of the marriage dowry 
of the INFANTA. CHARLES II granted it to the East India Com- 
pany who, about the same time, gained possession of some 
factories on the west coast of India. Somewhat later, factories 
were established at Madras and other places on the east coast. 
Last of all, the Company made tradiug settlements in Bengal 
and founded Calcutta in 1690. The factories of Bombay, 
Madras and Calcutta became the leading factories in their 
different localities, and exercised control and supervision over 
the subordinate depots and places in their vicinity. 

The decline of the Moghul power was very rapid after 
the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 ; and it was during the feud bet- 
ween the Marhatta and the Mahomedan that the French and 
the English began the work of conquest and annexation. The 
principal struggle between the French and the English com- 
menced in 1750 in Madras, where most of the French posses- 
sions were situated, and it ended in the supremacy of the 
English being established, and in Madras becoming the most 
important possession of the Company. The struggle in Bengal 
between the English and the native government continued from 
1756 to 1765. It commenced upon the accession of Serajud- 
dowla who captured Calcutta, but was overthrown by Clive in 
I 757 w ^h the result that the authority of the Company was 
established over the whole of Bengal. The powers and duties 
of government were, however, carried on by the Nawab of 
Murshidabad. 

But CLIVE was seeking an opportunity for availing himself 
of the outstanding sovereignty of the Moghul. He proceeded 
to obtain the grant of the Dewanny from the Moghul Emperor. 

b 



xxil INTRODUCTION. 

SHAH ALUM issued the following Firman empowering the com- 
pany to collect and administer the revenue of Bengal, Behar 
and Orissa : 

"At this happy time, our royal Firman, indispensably requiring 
obedience, is issued ; that, whereas, in consideration of the attachment and 
services of the high and mighty, the noblest of exalted nobles, the chief of 
illustrious warriors, our faithful servants and sincere well-wishers, worthy 
of our royal favours, the English Company, we have granted them the 
Dewanny of the Provinces of Bengal, Behar and Orissa from the beginning 
of the Fasal Rabi of the Bengal year 1172, as a free gift and ultumgan, 
without the association of any other person! and with an exemption from 
the payment of the customs of the Dewanny which used to be paid by the 
Court ; it is requisite that the said company engage to be security for the 
sum of 26 lakhs of rupees a year for our royal revenue, which sum has 
been appointed from the Nawab Nudjamut-dowla Bahadur, and regularly 
remit the same to the royal sircar ; and in this case, as the said Company 
are obliged to keep up a large army for the protection of the Provinces of 
Bengal etc., we have granted to them whatsoever may remain out of the 
revenues of the said provinces, after remitting the sum of 26 lakhs of rupees 
to the royal sircar, and providing for the expenses of the Nizamut. It is 
requisite that our royal descendants, the Viziers, the bestowers of dignity, 
the Omrahs high in rank, the great officers, the Muttaseddes of the 
Dewanny, the manager of the business of the Sultanat, the Jaghirdars and 
croories, as well the future as the present, using their constant endeavours 
for the establishment of this our royal command, leave the said office in 
possession of the said Company, from generation to generation, for ever 
and ever. Looking upon them to be assured from dismissal or removal, 
they must, on no account whatsoever, give them any interruption, and they 
must regard them as excused and exempted from the payment of all the 
customs of the Dewanny and royal demands. Knowing our orders on the 
subject to be most strict and positive, let them not deviate therefrom." 
(Aug. 12, 1765). 

This act is generally regarded as the acquisition of sove- 
reignty by the English. The collection of revenue in India in- 
volved the whole administration of civil justice, and that, to- 
gether with actual possession and Military power, nearly com- 
pleted the full idea of sovereignty. Still in name it was held in 
vassallage from the Moghul ; and the Nizamaut or adminis- 
tration of criminal justice remained with the Moghul's Lieute- 
nant the NAWAB OF MURSHIDABAD. 

The view which the Directors took of the transactions is 
thus expressed in a Despatch of i^th May, 1768 

"We conceive the office of Dewan should beiexercised only in super- 
intending the collection and disposal of the revenues. This we conceive to 
be the whole office of the Dewan. The administration of justice, the ap- 
pointments to offices, Zemindaries, in short whatever comes under the 
denomination of civil administration, we understand, is to remain in the 
hands of the Nawab or his ministers." 



INTRODUCTION. xxiii 

THE REGULATING ACT OP 1773. 

The legislative enactments respecting these territorial 
possessions of the company commenced in 1767. In that year, 
it was agreed between the "Public" and the "company" that in 
consideration of an annual payment of 400,000 by the company 
the large territorial possessions which had been recently 
obtained in India should remain in possession of the Company 
for the term of two years. This term was afterwards extended 
to five years more from the 1st of February 1769. The sums 
paid to the "Public" under these two Acts were 

In 1768 ,400,000 
1769 400,000 
1 770 400,000 
1771 400,000 
1772 200,000 

1773 253,779 

1 775i 15,619 (payable in 1773) 



Total 2,169,398. 

In 1773 the Company presented a petition to Parliament 
praying for relief. They solicited a loan for four years, and a 
sum of 1,400,000 was accordingly lent them. Parliament, 
upon that occasion, first assumed a general regulation of the 
Company's affairs by passing an Act commonly called the 
Regulating Act of 1773 " for establishing certain regulations 
for the better management of the affairs of the EAST INDIA 
COMPANY as well in India as in Europe." Its main provisions 
may be broadly classified under three heads Executive, 
Legislative and Judicial powers. 

I. Provisions for Executive Government'. 

The Act provided that the Government of Bengal should 
consist of a Governor-General and four counsellors, but that 
in case of differences of opinion, they should be concluded by 
the decision of the Majority ; in case of an equal division of 
counsellors present, the Governor-General or senior counsellor 
should have a casting vote, and his opinion be decisive and con- 
clusive. The Presidents and Councils (which were the germ of 
the present Presidencies) of Madras and Bombay were rendered 
subordinate to the Governor-General and Council of Bengal, so 
far as regards the declaration of war or the conclusion of peace. 



XXIV INTRODUCTION. 

The first Governor-General (WARREN HASTINGS) and his 
Council of four members (of whom PHILIP FRANCIS was one) 
were named in the Act ; thereafter they were to be appointed 
by the Court of Directors. 

II. Provisions for Legislation : 

By the 36th section of the Act the Governor-General and 
Council were empowered " from time to time to make and issue 
such rules, ordinances and regulations for the good order and 
civil government of the said United Company's settlement at 
Fort William aforesaid, and other factories and places subor- 
dinate to or to be subordinate to, as shall be deemed just and 
reasonable (such rules, ordinances and regulations not being 
repugnant to the laws of the nation), and to set, impose, inflict 
and levy reasonable fines and forfeiture for the breach and non- 
observance of such rules, ordinances, and regulations."* Such 
regulations, however, were not be valid, or of any force until 
they were duly registered in the Supreme Court, with the con- 
sent and approbation of the said Court. (The earliest regula- 
tion bears date I7th April, 1780). An appeal from a regula- 
tion so registered and approved lay to the King in Council, 
but the pendency of such appeal was not allowed to hinder 
the immediate execution of the law. The Government were 
bound to forward all such rules and regulations to England, 
power being reserved to the king to disapprove of them at any 
time within two years. 

III. Provisions for the establishment of the Supreme 
Court : 

The same Act also established the Supreme Court This 
Supreme Court was intended to be an independent and effec- 
tual check upon the executive government. The latter was 
still composed of the Company's servants entirely, but the 
Supreme Court consisted of judges appointed by the Crown, 
and it was made a King's Court and not a Company's Court ; 
the Court held jurisdiction over " His Majesty's subjects " in 
the provinces of Bengal, Behar and Orissa ; it consisted of a 
Chief Justice and (at first) three judges (subsequently reduced 
by 37 Geo. Ch. 142 Sec. i to a Chief Justice and two judges) ; 
and was constituted by charter framed under the authority of 

* This was called Legislation by the Executive Government. 



INTRODUCTION. XXV 

the Regulating Act. The King in Council further retained the 
right to disallow or alter any rule or regulation framed by the 
Government of India ; and in civil cases an appeal lay to the 
Privy Council. The intention was to secure to the Crown the 
supremacy in the whole administration of justice, and to 
place an effective check upon the affairs of the East India 
Company. 

The arrangement, however, was soon found to be imprac- 
ticable. The Act established in India two independent and 
rival powers viz., the Supreme Government, comprising the 
Governor-General and his Council, and the Supreme Court ; 
the boundaries between them were altogether undefined, one 
deriving its authority from the Crown, and the other from the 
Company. The wording of the statute and charter in regard 
to the Supreme Court was extremely loose and unsatisfactory ; 
and the immediate result was a conflict of authority which 
raged for seven years, and which had the effect of paralysing 
the executive government and of undermining the whole ad- 
ministration. 

The Court issued its writs extensively throughout the 
country, arrested and brought to Calcutta all persons against 
whom complaints were lodged, zemindars, farmers and occu- 
piers of land whatever their rank or consequence in the country. 
Revenue defaulters were set at liberty under a writ of habeas 
corpus ; the criminal administration under the Nawab was de- 
clared to be illegal; the mofussil civil courts were held to have 
no valid jurisdiction ; and the Supreme Court, itself modelled 
upon the Courts of England, introduced the whole system of 
English law and procedure. The Court exercised large powers 
independently of the government, often so as to obstruct it, 
and had complete control over legislation : such a plan could 
not but fail and it had to be re-modelled by another Act viz., 
the Amending Act of 1780-81 which, among other things, 
exempted the Governor-General and Council of Bengal, jointly 
or severally, from the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, for 
anything counselled, ordered or done by them in their public 
capacity (though this exemption did not apply to orders af- 
fecting British subjects). It also empowered the Governor- 
General and Council to frame regulations for the Provincial 
Courts of Justice without reference to the Supreme Court. It 
was under this statute that the so-called " regulations " were 
passed. The Court of Directors and the Secretary of State were 



XXVI INTRODUCTION. 

to be regularly supplied with copies of these regulations which 
might be disallowed or amended by the King in Council, but 
were to remain in force unless disallowed within two years. 

PITT'S INDIA ACT, 1784. 

In 1783 Fox, on behalf of the Ministry, introduced a Bill 
which in substance transferred the authority belonging to the 
Court of Directors to a new body, named in the Bill for a term 
of four years, who were afterwards to be appointed by the 
Crown. This Bill passed the House of Commons by a majority 
of two to one, but was rejected by the Lords. The King, who 
was known to disapprove of the Bill, forthwith dismissed Fox 
from office and summoned PlTT to be First Lord of the Treas- 
ury. In the following year (1784) after a dissolution, PITT. 
carried through Parliament his own India Act (24 Geo 3, c. 25). 
Its effect was two fold. First, it constituted a department of 
state in England, under the official title of "Commissioners for 
the Affairs of India" whose special function was to " control " 
the policy of the Court of Directors. Secondly, it reduced the 
number of members of council at Bengal to three, of whom the 
commander-in-chief must be one; and it re-modelled the 
councils at Madras and Bombay on the pattern of that at 
Bengal. 

The "Commissioners for the Affairs of India" were directed 
to form themselves into a Board which, as finally modified by a 
subsequent Act (33 Geo. 3, c. 52) consisted of five members of 
the Privy Council, three of whom must be the two Secretaries 
of State and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. But it was never 
intended that these high officers should take an active part, and 
therefore the first Commissioner named in the letters patent was 
appointed President of the Board, and a casting vote was given 
to him in matters of difference, which practically made him 
supreme. Thus arose the popular title of "President of the 
Board of Control." The first President was HENRY DUNDAS 
(afterwards LORD MELVILLE), the friend of PlTT, who held office 
from 1784 to 1 80 1. One of his earliest acts was to pass a 
Statute (26 Geo. 3, c. 16) by which authority was for the first 
time given to the Governor-General to overrule the majority of 
his council in certain cases. This matter, however, was dealt 
with more thoroughly in the Act of Parliament which has now 
to be described. 



INTRODUCTION. xxvii 

THE RENEWALS OF THE CHARTER (1793-1853). 

In 1793 the question of continuing to the East India Com- 
pany their right of exclusive trade in the East came under the 
consideration of Parliament. The monopoly was renewed for a 
further term of twenty years ; and advantage was taken of the 
opportunity to codify, as it were, the constitution of the Indian 
Government. By this Act (33 Geo. 3, c. 52) the Board of 
Control was modified as mentioned above, and the Court of 
Directors were required to appoint a "Secret Committee" of 
three of their own number, through whom the Board of Control 
was to issue its instructions to the Governors in India regarding 
questions of peace or war. The Councils at Bengal, Madras 
and Bombay were remodelled. Each was to consist of three 
members, appointed by the Court of Directors, from among 
"senior merchants" of ten years' standing ; and the Directors 
were empowered to appoint the Commander-in-chief of each 
Presidency as an additional member. The appointment of the 
three Governors and the Commander-in-chief was vested in the 
Court of Directors, subject to the approval of the Crown. The 
Directors also retained their power of dismissing any of these 
officials. The Governor-General was empowered to override 
the majority of his Council "in cases of high importance and 
essentially affecting the public interest and welfare," or las it is 
elsewhere worded "when any measure shall be proposed where- 
by the interests of the Company or the safety and tranquillity 
of the British possessions in India may, in the judgment of the 
Governor-General, be essentially concerned." A similar power 
was conferred upon the Governors of Madras and Bombay. 
The Governor-General was authorised to "superintend" the sub- 
ordinate presidencies "in all such points as shall relate to nego- 
tiations with the country powers, or levying war or making 
peace, or the collection or application of the revenues, or the 
forces employed or the Civil or Military Government". The 
form of Procedure in Council was regulated ; and it was enacted 
that all orders &c., should be expressed and be made by "the 
Governor-General (or Governor) in Council", a style that has 
continued to the present day. The Governor in Council at 
Madras first received legislative powers in 1800 by an Act (39 
& 40. Geo. 3. c. 79) which also founded a Supreme Court of 
Judicature at Madras on the Bengal pattern, with judges 
appointed by the Crown. Bombay did not obtain legislative 
powers until 1807, nor a Supreme Court until 1823. 



xxvill INTRODUCTION. 

In 1813 the territorial authority of the East India Company 
and its monopoly of trade with China were again renewed for 
twenty years ; but the right of trade in India was thrown open to 
all British subjects. The Act passed on this occasion estab- 
lished a bishop for India and an archdeacon for each of the 
three Presidencies. It also authorised the expenditure of one 
lac of rupees on education and the encouragement of learning. 

When the time came round for renewing the powers of the 
Company in 1833 for another twenty years, far more extensive 
changes were carried into effect. The Charter Act of 1833 
(3 and 4 Will. 4. c. 85) abolished the monopoly of trade with 
China and the Company (now for the first time officially styled 
''the East India Company") ceased altogether to be a mercantile 
corporation. It was enacted that no official communications 
should be sent to India by the Court of Directors until they 
had first been approved by the Board of Control. The Governor- 
General received the title of "Governor-General of India'' His 
Council was augmented by a fourth or extraordinary member 
who was not entitled to sit or vote except at meetings for 
making laws and regulations. He was to be appointed by 
the Directors, subject to the approval of the Crown, from 
among persons, not servants of the Company. The first such 
member was THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY. The Governor- 
General in Council was empowered to make "Laws and 
Regulations" for the whole of India, withdrawing from the 
Governors of Madras and Bombay all legislative functions, but 
leaving to them the right only of proposing draft schemes. 
Acts thus passed by the Governor-General in Council were liable 
to be disallowed by the Court of Directors and were also 
required to be laid before Parliament, but no registration in 
India was necessary. It was also expressly enacted that they 
were to have the force of Acts of Parliament. A Law Com- 
mission was appointed, composed of the legislative member of 
Council, another English member, and one civil servant from 
each of the three Presidencies. This Law Commission drafted 
the Penal Code which, however, did not receive the legislative 
sanction until 1860. The laws passed since 1833 are known as 
Acts, not Regulations. A new Presidency was created, with its 
seat at Agra ; but this clause was suspended two years later by 
an Act (5 and 6 Will. 4. c. 52) which authorised the appointment 
of a "Lieutenant Governor of the North-Western Provinces". 
At the same time the Governor-General was authorized to 
appoint a member of his Council to be Deputy Governor of 



INTRODUCTION. xxix 

Bengal. Two new bishoprics were constituted for Madras and 
Bombay. By a special clause, it was for the first time enacted 
that "no native of India shall, by reason of his religion, place of 
birth, descent or colour, be disabled from holding any office 
under the Company". 

In 1853, the powers of the East India Company were again 
renewed, but "only until Parliament shall otherwise provide". 
Further important changes were effected by the Act passed on 
this occasion (16 & 17 Viet. C. 95.) By section 16 of this Act 
(the Government of India Act), the Court of Directors of the 
East India Company, acting under the direction and control of 
the Board of Control, were empowered to declare that the 
Governor-General in Council should not be Governor of the 
Presidency of Fort William in Bengal, but that a separate 
Governor was to be from time to time appointed in like manner 
as the Governors of Madras and Bombay. In the meantime, 
and until a Governor was appointed, there was power under the 
same section to appoint a Lieutenant Governor of such part of 
the Presidency of Bengal as was not under the Lieutenant- 
Governorship of the North-West ' v now United) Provinces.* 
Six members of the Court of Directors, out of a total of eighteen, 
were henceforth to be appointed by the Crown. The appoint- 
ment of ordinary members of Council in India, though still 
made by the Directors, was to be subject to the approval of the 
Crown. The Commander-in-chief of the Queen's Army in 
India was declared Commander-in-Chief of the Company's 
forces. The Council of the Governor-General was again re- 
modelled by the admission of the fourth or legislative member 
as an ordinary member for all purposes ; while six special 
members were added for the object of legislation only viz., one 
member (who was paid 5,000 a year) from each of the four 
Presidencies or Lieutenant-Governorships. Thus the first 
Indian Legislative Council as constituted under the Act of 1853 
consisted only of twelve members vis., the Governor-General 
and the four members of his Council, the Commander-in-Chief, 
and the six special members. The Governor-General was also 
empowered by this Act to appoint, with the sanction of the 
Home Government, two civilian Members, but this power was 

* The power to appoint a Lieutenant-Governor was exercised, and during the 
continuance of its exercise, the power to appoint a Governor remained in abeyance. 
But it still existed, was inherited by the Secretary of State from the Court of 
Directors and Board of Control, and was exercised in March 1912 when a Governor- 
ship was substituted for the Lieutenant-Governorship of Bengal. 



XXX INTRODUCTION. 

never exercised. From this time onwards the sittings of the 
legislative council were made public and their proceedings were 
officially published. By the same statute of 1853 a body of 
eight commissioners was appointed in England to report upon 
the reforms proposed by the Indian Law Commission. 

THE GOVERNMENT OP INDIA ACT, 1854. 

Between 1853 and the transfer of the Government of India 
to the Crown in 1858 there was passed an Act in 1854 which 
has had important administrative results in India. This Act 
empowered the Governor-General of India in Council, with the 
sanction of the Court of Directors and the Board of Control, to 
take by proclamation under his immediate authority and 
management any part of the territories for the time being in 
possession or under the government of the East India Company, 
and thereupon to give all necessary orders and directions res- 
pecting the administration of that part, or otherwise provide 
for its administration. The mode in which this power has been 
practically exercised has been by the appointment of Chief 
Commissioners, to whom the Governor-General delegates such 
powers as need not be reserved to the Central Government. In 
this way Chief Commissionerships have been established for 
Assam, the Central Provinces, the North-West Frontier Pro- 
vince, British Baluchistan and the new Province of Delhi. The 
same Act empowered the Government of India, with the sanc- 
tion of the Home authorities, to define the limits of the several 
provinces in India and directed that the Governor-General was 
no longer to bear the title of Governor of the Presidency of 
Bengal. 

THE TRANSFER OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA 
FROM THE COMPANY TO THE CROWN, 1858. 

"The principle of our political system is", said VlSCOUNT 
PALMERSTON in 1858 in introducing the first Bill for the better 
Government of India, "that all administrative functions should 
be accompanied by Ministerial responsibility responsibility to 
Parliament, responsibility to public opinion, responsibility to 
the Crown, but in this case the chief functions in the Gov- 
ernment of India are committed to a body not responsible to 
Parliament, not appointed by the Crown, but elected by persons 
who have no more connexion with India than consists in the 
simple possession of so much India Stock, * * * 



INTRODUCTION. XXXI 

I say, then that as far as regards the executive functions of the 
Indian Government at home, it is of the greatest importance to 
vest complete authority where the public have a right to think 
that complete responsibility should rest, and that whereas in 
this country there can be but one governing body responsible 
to the Crown, the Parliament, and to public opinion, consisting 
of the constitutional advisers of the Crown for the time being, 
so it is in accordance with the best interests of the nation, that 
India, with all its vast and important interests, should be placed 
under the direct authority of the Crown, to be governed in the 
name of the Crown by the responsible Ministers of the Crown 
sitting in Parliament, and responsible to Parliament and the 
public for every part of their public conduct, instead of being, as 
now, mainly, administered by a set of gentlemen who, however 
respectable, however competent for the discharge of the 
functions entrusted to them, are yet a totally irresponsible body, 
whose views and acts are seldom known to the public, and 
whether known to unknown, whether approved or disapproved, 
unless one of the Directors happens to have a seat in this 
House, are out of the range of Parliamentary discussion." 

So, after the Mutiny of 1857, the cumbrous system of 
' Double Government" was abolished and a new chapter in 
Indian constitutional history began with the passing of the 
Act for the Better Government of India which received the 
Royal Assent on the 2nd of August, 1858, and came into 
operation thirty days later. This Act declared that henceforth 
"India shall be governed by and in the name of" the Queen, 
and vested in the Queen all the territories and powers of the 
Company. A Secretary of State was appointed, with a Council, 
to transact the affairs of India in England. Omitting certain 
provisions of temporary effect, and combining the provisions of 
the three amending Acts of 1869, 1876 and 1907 this Coun- 
cil, originally fifteen in number, now consists of such number of 
members, not less than ten and not more than fourteen, as the 
Secretary of State may from time to time determine. Nine of 
them at least must have served or resided in India for ten 
years, and must have left India not more than five years 
before appointment. Vacancies could be filled up by the Se- 
cretary of State. The term of office, which had been originally 
" during good behaviour" and was till 1907 ten years, is 
now seven years, reserving a power to the Secretary of State to 
reappoint any member for five years more " for special reasons 
of public advantage". No member of Council was capable of 



xxxii INTRODUCTION. 

sitting in Parliament. The Secretary of State was empowered 
to divide the Council into Committees for the more convenient 
transaction of business, and to appoint one of the members to 
be Vice-President. Except in certain cases specially men- 
tioned, the Secretary of State was not bound to follow the opinion 
of the majority of the Council, but he must record his reasons 
for acting in opposition thereto. In cases of urgency he might 
act without consulting the Council ; and as regards that class 
of cases which formerly had passed through the Secret 
Committee of the Court of Directors, he was expressly authorised 
to act alone without consulting the Council or recording his 
reasons. All the revenues of India were subjected to the control 
of the Secretary of State, who might sanction no grant without 
the concurrence of the majority of the Council. The accounts 
were to be audited in England, and annually laid before Parlia- 
ment. Any order sent to India directing the commencement 
of hostilities must also be communicated to Parliament. Ex- 
cept for repelling actual invasion, or " under other sudden and 
urgent necessity," the revenues of India might not be applied 
to defray the expense of any military operation beyond the 
frontier without the consent of both houses of Parliament. 
The naval and military forces of the Company were declared 
to be thenceforth the forces of the Crown ; all officers and ser- 
vants of the Company in India were to be officers of the Crown ; 
and all future appointments are vested in the Crown. Ap- 
pointments to the offices of Governor-General, Governors of 
Presidencies and Advocates-General, and also (by 32 and 33 
Viet. ch. 97) of the ordinary members of the Councils in India, 
were to be made direct ; appointments to the offices of Lieutenant- 
Governor or other ruler of a Province by the Governor- 
General, subject to the approval of the Crown, and other ap- 
pointments made in India remained as before. 

The Act for the Better Government of India received 
the Royal Assent on the 2nd August, 1858, and came into 
operation thirty days later. Its effect, so far as regards the 
assumption of the government by the Crown, was announced 
to the Princes and People of India by a Proclamation of the 
direct supremacy of the British Crown. This Proclamation, 
" simple and natural enough as it appears at the present day 
in the light of what has followed, was a stroke of genius at the 
time. ' It sealed the unity of Indian Government and opened 
a new era.' It was the act of a great Sovereign Mother which 
appealed to oriental sentiment as nothing else could have done. 



INTRODUCTION. XXXlll 

An entirely new keynote was struck. Her Majesty directed 
her Minister to issue the great announcement, 'bearing in mind 
that it is a female Sovereign who speaks to more than a 
hundred millions of Eastern people on assuming the direct 
government over them and, after a bloody war, giving them 
pledges which her future reign is to redeem and explaining 
the principles of her government'. ' Such a document,' said 
Her Majesty, 'should breathe feelings of generosity, beno- 
volence and religious toleration, and point out the privileges 
which the Indians will receive in being placed on an equality 
with the subjects of the British Crown.' It was the greatest 
event in a long history of great things. Now for the first 
time on record the whole of the vast continent of India, greater 
in extent than Europe itself, excluding Russia, acknowledged 
not only the Hegemony of a single power, but the guardianship 
of a single person."* 

This memorable Proclamation, justly called the Magna 
Charta of India, was published at every large town throughout 
the country and translated into the vernacular languages. In 
this historic Proclamation the Governer-General (LORD 
CANNING) was for the first time styled "Viceroy." 

THE STATUTES OP 1861-1871 

Despite the transfer of anthority from the Company to 
the Crown in 1858, the constitution of the Indian Government 
remained unchanged until 1861 when two important statutes 
were passed by Parliament viz. the Indian Councils Act and 
the Indian High Courts Act. 

By the Indian Councils Act of 1861 the power of legisla- 
tion was restored to the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay, 
and a Legislative Council was appointed for Bengal, while the 
Governor-General in Council retained legislative authority over 
the whole of India. For legislative purposes the Governor- 
General's Council consisted of five (or six) ordinary members, 
the commander-in-chief as extraordinary member, and the 
Governor or Lieutenant-Governor of the Province in which the 
Council happened to meet, together with from 6 to 12 members 
nominated for a period of two years by the Governor-General. 
Of these last not less than one-half was to be non-official per- 
sons, and in practice some of them were always Indians. The 

* "The Historical Record of the Imperial Visit to India, 1911," p. 5. 



xxxiv INTRODUCTION. 

extent of the powers of the Legislative Council was thus 
defined 

"For all persons, whether British or Native, foreigners or others, and 
for all courts of justice whatever, and for all places and things whatever 
within the siad territories and for all servants of the Government 
of India within the dominions of princes and states in alliance with Her 
Majesty." 

Certain subjects were expressly reserved for Parliament, 
including the several statutes regulating the constitution of the 
Indian Government, any future statute affecting India, any 
statute for raising money in England, the Mutiny Act, and the 
unwritten laws and constitution of England, so far as regards 
allegiance and sovereignty. No measure could be introduced 
without the sanction of the Governor- General if it affected the 
public debt or revenues, the religious usages of the people, 
military discipline or foreign relations. No law was to be valid 
until the Governor-General had given his express assent to 
it ; and an ultimate power of signifying disallowance was re- 
served to the Crown. In cases of emergency the Governor- 
General, apart from the Legislative Council, could make 
"ordinances for the peace and good government" of the country, 
which had the force of laws for six months. Local Legislatures 
were constituted for Madras aud Bombay, in addition to the 
ordinary Councils, consisting in each Presidency of the Advo- 
cate-General, together with from four to eight other persons, 
of whom one-half were to be non-official, nominated by the 
Governors. Besides the subjects forbidden to the Governor- 
General's Council, these local legislatures were not to take 
into consideration proposals affecting general taxation, the 
currency, the post office and telegraphs, the penal code, patents 
and copyrights. The assent of the Governor-General as well 
as that of the Governor was necessary to give validity to any 
law. A similar local legislature was directed to be con- 
stituted for the lower Provinces of Bengal and power was given 
to constitute Legislative Councils for what was known as the 
North-Western Provinces and for the Punjab and for any other 
Lieutenant-Governorship that might be formed in the future. 
Such were the chief provisions of the Indian Councils Act 
of 1861. 

In the same year (1861) the Indian High Courts Act was 
passed (24 & 25 Viet. c. 104.) empowering the Crown to esta- 
blish, by Letters Patent, High Courts at Calcutta, Madras and 



INTRODUCTION. XXXV 

Bombay, in which the Supreme Courts, as well as the Sadr 
Dewani Addlat and the Sadr Nizamut Adalat were all merged, 
the jurisdiction and powers of the abolished courts being trans- 
ferred to the new High Courts. Each of the High Courts was 
to be composed of a Chief Justice and not more than 15 judges, 
of whom not less than one-third including the Chief Justice were 
to be barristers, and not less than one third were to be members 
of the Covenanted Civil Service. All the judges were to be 
appointed by and to hold office during the pleasure of the 
Crown. The High Courts were expressly given superintendence 
over, and power to frame rules of practice for, all the Courts 
subject to their appellate jurisdiction. Power was given by 
the Act to establish another High Court with the same 
constitution and powers as the High Courts established. 

The Government of India Act of 1865 extended the legis- 
lative powers of the Governor-General's Council to all British 
subjects in Native States, whether servants of the Crown or 
not ; the Indian Councils Act of 1869 still further extended 
these powers by enabling the Governor General's Council to 
make laws for all native Indian subjects of the Crown in any 
part of the world, whether in India or not. Incidentally, it 
may be added that the Act of 1865 also enabled the Governor- 
General Council to define and alter, by proclamations, the 
territorial limits of the various Presidencies and Lieutenant- 
Governorships. 

An Act of 1873 (36 Viet. c. 17) formally dissolved the East 
India Company as from January I, 1874. In the following 
year another Indian Councils Act enabled a sixth member of 
the Governor-General's Council to be appointed for Public 
Works purposes. The Indian Councils Act of 1904, however, 
removed the necessity for appointing the sixth member speci- 
fically for Public Works purposes, though it continued the 
power to appoint a sixth member. 

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE TITLE OP "EMPRESS OP INDIA" 
BY aUEEN VICTORIA IN 1876. 

In 1876 the transfer of the Government of India from 
the Company to the Crown, which had been effected eighteen 
years earlier, was further recognised by an Act of Parliament 
(39 & 40 Viet. c. 10) which empowered the Queen to make a 
significant addition to her style and title. The circumstances 



xxxvi INTRODUCTION. 

which led to the passing of this statute are thus related by 
LADY BETTY BALFOUR in her book entitled "Lord Lyttoris 
Indian Administration" 

"When the Administration of India was transferred from the East 
India Company to the Sovereign, it seemed in the eyes of her Indian 
subjects and feudatories that the impersonal power of an administrative 
abstraction had been replaced by the direct personal authority of a human 
being. This was a change thoroughly congenial to all their traditional 
sentiments, but without some appropriate title the Queen of England was 
scarcely less of an abstraction than the Company itself. * * * The title 
of Empress or Bddshdh could alone adequately represent her relations with 
the states and kingdoms of India, and was moreover a title familiar to the 
natives of the country, and an impressive and significant one in their 
eyes." 

"Embarrassments inseparable from the want of some appropriate title 
had long been experienced with increasing force by successive Indian 
administrators, and were brought, as it were, to a crisis by various cir- 
cumstances incidental to the Prince of Wales's visit to India in 1875-76, 
and by a recommendation of Lord Northbrook's Government that it would 
be in accordence with fact, with the language of political documents, and 
with that in ordinary use to speak of Her Majesty as the Sovereign of India 
that is to say, the paramount power over all, including Native States." 

"It was accordingly announced in the speech from the Throne in the 
session df 1876, that whereas when the direct Government of the Indian 
Empire was assumed by the Queen no formal addition was made to the style 
and titles of the Sovereign, Her Majesty deemed that moment a fitting 
one for supplying the omission, and of giving thereby a formal and 
emphatic expression of the favourable sentiments which she had always 
entertained towards the princes and people of India." 

To fulfil Her Majesty's desire the Royal Titles Act (39 & 
40 Viet. c. 10.) was passed in the same year (1876). With 
a view to the recognition of the transfer of the Government 
of India to the Crown, it authorised the Queen, by Royal 
Proclamation, to make such addition to the style and titles 
appertaining to the Imperial Crown of the United Kingdom 
and its dependencies as to Her Majesty might seem meet. 
Accordingly, the Queen, by Proclamation dated April 28, 1876, 
added to her style and titles the words "INDLE IMPERATRIX" or 
"EMPRESS OF INDIA" (London Gazette, April 26, 1876). The 
translation of the new title in the vernacular was a matter for 
careful consideration with LORD LYTTON'S Government who 
finally decided to adopt the term KAiSER-I-HlND. "It was 
short, sonorous, expressive of the Imperial character which 
it was intended to convey, and a title, moreover, of classical 
antiquity." 



INTRODUCTION. XXXVII 

THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1892. 

The next landmark in Indian constitutional history was 
the passage of the Indian Councils Act of 1892. The changes 
introduced by this Act were, broadly speaking, three in number. 
The first was the concession of the privilege of financial criticism 
in both the Supreme and the Provincial Councils ; the second 
was the concession of the privilege of interpellation ; the third 
was the addition to the number of members in both classes of 
Councils. Under the Act of 1861 financial discussion was 
possible only when the Finance Minister proposed a new tax. 
By the Act of 1892 power was given to discuss the Budget 
annually in both the Supreme and the Provincial Councils. 
"It was not contemplated, as the extracts he had read from the 
despatch of LORD DUFFERIN would show, to vote the Budget 
in India item by item, as was done in that House, and to subject 
it to all the obstacles and delays Parliamentary ingenuity could 
suggest ; but it was proposed to give opportunity to the members 
of the Councils to indulge in a full and free criticism of the 
financial policy of the Government, and he thought that all 
parties would be in favour of such a discussion. The Govern- 
ment would gain, because they would have the opportunity of 
explaining their financial policy, of removing misapprehension, 
and of answering criticism and attack ; and they would profit 
by criticisms delivered on a public occasion with a due sense of 
responsibility and by the most competent representatives of 
unofficial India. The native community would gain, because 
they would have the opportunity of reviewing the financial 
situation independently of the mere accident of legislation being 
required for any particular year, and also because criticism upon 
the financial policy of the Government, which now found vent 
in anonymous and even scurrilous papers in India, would be 
uttered by responsible persons in a public position. Lastly, the 
interests of finance would gain by this increased publicity and 
the stimulus of a vigorous and instructive scrutiny." (Extracts 
from Lord Cursors speech in 1892, p. 192.) 

The second change introduced by the Act was the conces- 
sion of the right of interpellation or of asking questions. It was 
desirable, in the interests of the Government which was then 
without any means of making known its policy or of answering 
criticisms or animadversions or of silencing calumny. 

Both the above rights of financial discussion and interpella- 
tion were, however, subject to conditions and restrictions 
d 



XXXViii INTRODUCTION. 

prescribed in rules made by the Imperial or Provincial Govern- 
ments. 

Thirdly, the Act of 1892 authorised an increase in the size 
of the Legislative Councils and changes in the method of nomi- 
nation. The numbers of members to be nominated for legisla- 
tive purposes were now fixed at 10 to 16 for the Governor- 
General's Council, 8 to 20 for Madras and Bombay, not more 
than 20 for Bengal, and not more than, 15 for the United 
Provinces, the minimum proportion of non-officials being left 
as before. At the same time powers, by the exercise of which 
important advances were made, were conferred by a sub-section 
authorising the Governor-General in Council, with the approval 
of the Secretary of State in Council to make "regulations as 
to the conditions under which such nominations, or any of 
them, shall be made by the Governor-General, Governors, 
and Lieutenant-Governors respectively." By regulations sub- 
sequently made the principle of election was tentatively intro- 
duced, and the proportion of non-officials was increased beyond 
the minimum laid down by the Act of 1861. The Governor- 
General's legislative council, for example, had to include 10 
non-officials, of whom five were nominated on the recommend- 
ation of the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce and the non-official 
members of the Legislative Councils of Madras, Bombay, Bengal, 
and the United Provinces. In Bombay 8 out of n non- 
officials were nominated on the recommendation of various 
bodies and associations, including the Corporation, the Uni- 
versity, groups of municipal corporations, groups of local dis- 
trict boards, classes of large land-holders and associations of 
merchants, manufacturers, or tradesmen. Similar provisions 
were made in regard to the legislative councils in Madras, 
Bengal, and the United Provinces. The key to the policy 
underlying these reforms of 1892 is therefore rightly stated by 
Lord Lansdowne in the following words 

"We hope, however, that we have succeeded in giving to our proposal 
a form sufficiently definite to secure a satisfactory advance in the represent- 
ation of the people in our Legislative Councils, and to give effect to the 
principle of selection as far as possible on the advice of such sections of the 
community as are likely to be capable of assisting us in that manner." 

The Act of 1892, in short, was a most cautious but 
deliberate attempt at introducing the elective element into 
the government of India. As MR. GLADSTONE pointed out 
" While the language of the Bill cannot be said to embody 



INTRODUCTION. XXXIX 

the elective principle, it is very peculiar language, unless it is 
intended to pave the way for the adoption of that principle." 
As a matter of fact the working of this Act did pave the way 
for the adoption of that principle in the epoch-making scheme 
of political reforms associated with the names of VlSCOUNT 
MORLEY and the late EARL OF MINTO. "The Bill of 1892," 
said LORD MORLEY in the course of his speech on the second 
reading of the Indian Councils Bill, "admittedly contained the 
elective principle, and now this Bill extends that principle". 

KING-EMPEROR EDWARD VII'S PROCLAMATION, 1908. 

But before going into the details of the MlNTO^MORLEY 
Reforms we should advert to an intermediate event of sur- 
passing importance, viz., the Proclamation of King-Emperor 
EDWARD VII to the Princes and Peoples of India on the 
occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the transfer of the Govern- 
ment of India to the Crown. It was read by His Excellency 
the Viceroy (the late EARL OF MINTO) in Durbar at Jodhpur on 
the 2nd November, 1908. We may be permitted to quote 
here some of the notable sentences in this historic proclam- 
ation 

*' Haifa century is but a brief span in your long annals, yet this half 
century that ends to-day will stand amid the floods of your historic ages, 
a far-shining land-mark. The proclamation of the direct supremacy of 
the Crown sealed the unity of Indian Government and opened a new era. 
The journey was arduous, and the advance may have sometimes seemed 
slow ; but the incorporation of many strangely diversified communities, 
and of some three hundred millions of the human race, under British 
guidance and control has proceeded steadfastly and without pause. We 
survey our labours of the past half century with clear gaze and good con- 
science." 

" Steps are being continuously taken towards obliterating distinctions 
of race as the test for access to posts of public authority and power. In 
this path I confidently expect and intend the progress henceforward to be 
steadfast and sure, as education spreads, experience ripens and the 
lessons of responsibility are well learned by the keen intelligence and apt 
capabilities of India". 

"From the first, the principle of representative institutions began to be 
gradually introduced, and the time has come when, in the judgment of 
my Viceroy and Governor-General and others of my counsellors, that 
principle maybe prudently extended. Important classes among you, re- 
presenting ideas that have been fostered and encouraged by British rule, 
claim equality of citizenship, and a greater share in legislation and Gov- 
ernment. The politic satisfaction of such a claim will strengthen, not 



xl INTRODUCTION, 

impair, existing authority and power. Administration will be all the 
more efficient, if the officers who conduct it have greater opportunities of 
regular contact with those whom it affects, and with those who influence 
and reflect common opinion about it. I will not speak of the measures 
that are now being diligently framed for these objects. They will speedily 
be made known to you, and will, I am very confident, mark a notable stage 
in the beneficient progress of your affairs." 

THE CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS OP 1909. 

The measures of reform foreshadowed in this Royal Pro- 
clamation were initiated by LORD MINTO as early as 1906. 
The full history of these Constitutional Reforms will be found 
in pp. 202-339 of this book. We shall attempt to give here a 
bare outline* of this history, believing, as we do, that no readers 
of this book will fail to read those classic discussions which 
culminated in the epoch-making reforms of 1909. 

In a Minute reviewing the political situation in India, LORD 
MlNTO in 1906 pointed out how the growth of education, en- 
couraged by British rule, had led to the rise of important 
classes aspiring to take a larger part in shaping the policy of 
the Government. A Committee of the Governor-General's 
Council was appointed to consider the group of questions arising 
out of these novel conditions. The subject of the constitution 
and functions of the legislative councils was publicly re-opened 
by the announcement of the Governor-General, in a speech 
addressed to the Legislative Council on the 2/th March, 1907, 
that with the object of satisfying the constitutional requirements 
of the Indian Empire the Government of India had, of their 
own initiative, taken into consideration the question of giving 
the people of India wider opportunities of expressing their 
views on administrative matters. Later in the same year they 
issued, with the approval of the Secretary of State, a Circular 
to all local Governments and Administrations, inviting their 
opinions on a number of proposals that they put forward, 
''subject to this essential condition that the executive authority 
of the Government is maintained in undiminished strength," 
in the belief that they represented "a considerable advance in 
the direction of bringing all classes of the people into closer 
relations with the Government and its officers, and of increasing 
their opportunities of making known their feelings and wishes, 
in respect of administrative and legislative questions". The 

* Based upon pp. 58-61 of the Report on the Moral and Material Progress and 
Condition of India, 1913. 



INTRODUCTION. xli 

proposals were exhaustively discussed by the Government of 
India in their despatch to the Secretary of State, dated the 1st 
of October, 1908. The Secretary of State (VISCOUNT MORLEY 
of Blackburn, O. M.) informed the Government of India of his 
decision in his famous despatch of the 2/th of November, 1908 
(see pp. 268-284) ; and early in the next year he introduced the 
Indian Councils Bill in the House of Lords. In the course of 
the debates on this Bill LORD MORLEY announced his intention 
to appoint an Indian "one of the King's equal subjects" to a 
post on the Governor-General's (Executive) Council. The 
subject was outside the scope of the Bill, because, as was 
explained, the power of making these appointments is free from 
any restriction as to race, creed, or place of birth. As LORD 
MORLEY emphatically pointed out "It is quite true, and the 
House should not forget that it is quite true, that this question 
is in no way whatever touched by the Bill. If this Bill were 
rejected by Parliament it would be a great and grievous disaster 
to peace and contentment in India, but it would not prevent the 
Secretary of State the next morning from advising His Majesty 
to appoint an Indian Member. The members of the Viceroy's 
Executive Council are appointed by the Crown", (p. 296). 
LORD MORLEY did not hesitate to give effect to his liberal 
intention, and he forthwith appointed MR. S. P. SlNHA, in 
March 1909, to the post of Law Member of the Governor- 
General's Council. This appointment carried a step further the 
policy adopted in 1907, when two Indians were given seats in 
the Secretary of State's Council. In pursuance of the same 
policy an Indian has been placed on each of the Executive 
Councils for Madras, Bombay, Bengal, and Bihar & Orissa. 
This statesmanlike action on the part of LORD MORLEY has 
nobly vindicated the gracious intentions of QUEEN VICTORIA 
contained in the following lines of Her Proclamation of 1858 
"And it is Our further Will that, so far as may be, Our subjects, 
of whatever Race or Creed, be freely and impartially admitted to 
offices in Our Service, the duties of which they may be qualified, 
by their education, ability, and integrity, duly to discharge." 

The Indian Councils Bill was finally passed into law on 
May 25, 1909, the Act was brought into operation on the I5th 
November, 1909, and the new Legislative Councils met early 
in 1910. The Act itself is couched in wide and general terms, 
and leaves all details, and some important questions of principle 
to be determined by regulations and rules made by the author- 
ities here, 



xlii INTRODUCTION. 

The effect of the main alterations made in the law, 
so for as the legislative councils are concerned, may be stated 
quite briefly. In the first place, it was laid down that the 
members appointed for legislative purposes, instead of being all 
nominated, "shall include members so nominated and also 
members elected in accordance with regulations made under 
this Act" ; secondly, the maximum numbers of such members 
on the various councils were raised, being at least doubled, and 
in most cases more than doubled ; thirdly, the section of the 
Act of 1892, under which provision might be made for the 
discussion of the financial statement and the asking of questions, 
was repealed and replaced by the following : 

"Notwithstanding anything in the Indian Councils Act, 1861, the 
Governor-General in Council, the Governors in Council of Fort St. George 
and Bombay respectively, and the Lieutenant-Governor or Lieutenant- 
Governor in Council of every province, shall make rules authorising at any 
meeting of their respective legislative councils the discussion of the annual 
financial statement of the Governor-General in Council or of their respect- 
ive local Governments, as the case may be, and of any matter of general 
public interest, and the asking of questions, under such conditions and 
restrictions as may be prescribed in the rules applicable to the several 
councils." 

The actual numbers of members to be nominated and elected 
(within the maximum limits laid down), the numbers required 
to form a quorum, the term of office, the conditions under which 
and manner in which members should be nominated and 
elected, and the qualifications for membership, were left to be 
determined by regulations to be made by the Governor-General 
in Council, subject to the approval of the Secretary of State in 
Council. Regulations were laid down accordingly for each 
legislative council separately. A brief account of their effect 
and purport only is given here. For details reference must be 
made to the Regulations themselves. 

The regulations and rules as to elections and nominations 
were framed for each province with reference to local conditions, 
with the object of obtaining, as far as possible, a fair representa- 
tion of the different classes and interests in the province. 

The elected portion of the Governor-General's Council 
consists of members elected by the non-official members of the 
provincial councils, by the landholders and by the Mahomedan 
Communities, in the various provinces, and representatives of 
the Bengal and Bombay Chambers of Commerce and of the 
district councils and municipal committees of the Central Pro- 



INTRODUCTION. xliii 

vinces. In the provincial councils seats are provided in most 
cases for elected representatives of the landholders, the muni- 
cipalities and district boards, the Mahomedan community, the 
Chambers of Commerce, and the Universities. The few re- 
maining seats are allotted with a view to the due representation 
of special local interests : thus representatives are elected (one in 
each case) by the Corporations of Calcutta, Madras, and 
Bombay, by the planting community in Madras, by the Indian 
commercial community, by the mill-owners in Bombay, and by 
the tea interest in Assam. The procedure as to elections is very 
varied and in many cases very complicated. Some of the main 
points only can be noticed. 

Some general provisions are common to all the provinces. 
Females, minors, and persons of unsound mind may not vote, 
neither are they eligible for election. Persons coming under 
certain other heads (including Government officers) are also 
declared ineligible for election. Members must, before taking 
their seats, make an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the 
Crown. The term of office is ordinarily three years. Corrupt 
practices render an election invalid. 

Subject to these general provisions, the positive qualifi- 
cations for electors and candidates and the methods of election, 
are laid down in the detailed rules for the various electorates. 
They vary considerably from province to province, even in the 
case of similar electorates. Some seats proposed to be rilled 
by election as soon as workable electorates can be formed are now 
filled by nomination. Thus the representative of Indian 
commerce is at present nominated, except in the case of the 
Bombay Council. 

The retention of a number of non-official seats filled by 
nomination in each council makes it possible to provide for 
the representation of minor interests and smaller classes as the 
particular needs of the moment and the claims of each com- 
munity may from time to time require. 

The Act and regulations of 1909 made no alteration in the 
legislative functions and powers of the councils. These are 
still regulated mainly by the Act of 1861, which included 
provisions precluding the Indian legislatures from making laws 
affecting the provisions of Acts of Parliament (save in the case 
of the Imperial Council, which may, generally speaking, repeal 
or amend such Acts passed prior to 1860), and specifying, for 
the Governor-General's Council and the provincial councils 



xllV INTRODUCTION. 

respectively, various heads under which legislation cannot be 
undertaken without the previous consent of the Governor- 
General. In the case of the Governor-General's Council, this 
consent must be obtained before any Bill is brought forward 
which affects religion, the public debt or revenues, the army or 
navy, or foreign relations ; in the case of the provincial councils, 
the same restriction applies also to Bills affecting the currency, 
the transmission of postal or telegraphic messages, the Indian 
Penal Code, patents or copyright. The powers of the local 
legislatures are strictly territorial, but beyond this no precise line 
of demarcation is drawn between their legislative spheres and 
those of the Governor-General's Council. Generally speaking, 
the Governor-General's Council legislates only in cases where 
uniformity throughout British India is desirable, or in matters 
beyond the competency of the local legislatures, or for pro- 
vinces which have no local legislatures of their own. 

The changes made in regard to the discussion of the year's 
finance are, briefly, that the discussion extends over several 
days instead of one or two, that it takes place before, instead 
of after, the budget is finally settled, and that members have 
the right to propose resolutions and to divide the Council upon 
them. As indicating the nature of the new rules, a brief sum- 
mary of the rules laid down for the Governor-General's Council 
may be given. The first stage is the presentation of the 
"Financial Statement" (i.e. the preliminary financial estimates 
for the next year), with an explanatory memorandum. On a 
subsequent day this is taken into consideration, and any mem- 
ber may move a resolution regarding any proposed alteration in 
taxation, new loan, or additional grant to local Governments. 
The second stage is the discussion of the statement by heads 
or groups of heads. A resolution may be moved with reference 
to any question covered by a head as it comes under discussion. 
Certain subjects (including foreign relations and relations with 
native states and matters under adjudication by a court of law) 
and certain heads of revenue, and expenditure (including, under 
revenue, customs and assessed taxes, and, under expenditure, 
interest on debt, political, state railways, and army) are excluded 
from discussion. Finally, the "Budget" (i.e. the financial statement 
as finally settled by the Governor-General in Council) is presented 
to the Council by the Finance Member, who explains the reason 
why any resolution passed in Council has not been accepted. 
The Budget is subsequently discussed, but resolutions are not at 
that stage permitted, nor is the Budget put to the vote. 



INTRODUCTION. xlv 

Similarly, rules are laid down for the discussion of matters 
of general public interest (excluding, as before, foreign relations, 
and relations with native states, and matters under adjudication 
by courts of law), on resolutions moved by members. As in 
the case of the financial statement, a resolution must be in the 
form of a specific recommendation addressed to the Governor- 
General in Council, and, if carried, has effect only as such. 

A time limit of 15 minutes is laid down, as a general rule, 
for speeches, and provision is made for the handing in of printed 
speeches, which may be taken as read. In the new rules for 
the asking of questions, an important change is that a member 
who has asked a question is allowed to put "a supplementary 
question for the purpose of further elucidating any matter of 
fact regarding which a request for information has been made in 
his original question." 

The rules as to discussions and resolutions in the various 
provincial councils differ little in essentials from those of the 
Governor-General's Council. One distinguishing feature, 
however, is that in the case of the local financial statements 
the first stage is an examination by a committee of the Council 
consisting of not more than 12 members, six nominated by the 
head of the Government and six elected by the non-official 
members. 

A passage from the Government of India's Resolution of 
the 1 5th November, 1909, may be quoted as summarising the 
total effect of the changes then made in the constitution and 
functions of the legislative councils : 

" The constitutional changes that have been effected are of no small 
magnitude. The councils have been greatly enlarged ; the maximum 
strength was 126 ; it is now 370. All classes and interests of major 
importance will in future have their own representatives. In the place of 
39 elected members, there will now be 135 ; and while the electorates of 
the old councils had only the right to recommend the candidate of their 
choice for appointment by the head of the Government, an elected member 
of the new councils will sit as of right, and will need no official confirm- 
ation. Under the Regulations of 1892 officials were everywhere in a 
majority ; the Regulations just issued establish a non-official majority in 
every provincial council. Nor has reform been confined to the constitution 
of the councils ; their functions also have been greatly enlarged. A 
member can now demand that the formal answer to a question shall be 
supplemented by further information. Discussion will no longer be con- 
fined to legislative business and a discursive and ineffectual debate on 
the budget, but will be allowed in respect of all matters of general public 
interest. Members will in future take a real and active part in shaping 



xlvi INTRODUCTION. 

the financial proposals for the year ; and as regards not only financial 
matters but all questions of administration they will have liberal oppor- 
tunities of criticism and discussion and of initiating advice and sugges- 
tions in the form of definite resolutions. The Governor-General in Council 
feels that these momentous changes constitute a generous fulfilment of 
the gracious intention, foreshadowed in the King-Emperor's message, to 
entrust to the leaders of the Indian peoples a greater share in legislation 
and government, and he looks forward with confidence to these extensive 
powers being loyally and wisely used by them, in association with the 
holders of executive authority, to promote the prosperity and content- 
ment of all classes of the inhabitants of this great country." 

THE IMPERIAL CORONATION DURBAR OF 1911. 

Even before a year's trial could be given to the scheme 
of reforms thus ushered in, King-Emperor EDWARD VII 
"the first Emperor of all India" passed away; and the voice 
of lamentation in India was heard through all the world. 
His son and successor H. I. M. KING-EMPEROR GEORGE 
V our present King and Emperor ascended the throne ; 
and almost his first public act after ascending the throne was 
to send a message to his subjects in the East. "QUEEN 
VICTORIA, of revered memory," he said, "addressed her Indian 
subjects and the heads of Feudatory states when she assumed 
the direct government in 1858, and her august son, my father, 
of honoured and beloved name, commemorated the same most 
notable event in his Address to you some fifty years later. 
These are the charters of the noble and benignant spirit of 
Imperial rule, and by that spirit in all my time to come 
I will faithfully abide." His Majesty concluded by saying 
" I count upon your ready response to the earnest sympathy 
with the well-being of India that must ever be the inspiration 
of my rule." 

"His Majesty had formed a new ideal of his high office and 
recognised most clearly that the Crown was the one and only 
power by which the scattered elements not of India only, but 
of his other vast dominions, could be welded into a single 
living whole for the benefit of all, and he came first of all to 
India in pursuance of this great design, with the fullest 
confidence not only that the people of England would, for the 
sake of their Indian fellow-subjects, readily make the sacrifice 
involved in his absence, but that the millions of India would 
not fail to respond, and would regard his visit as the strongest 
possible proof of British good-will. In his own words, he 
wished not only 'to strengthen the old ties but to create new 



INTRODUCTION. xlvii 

ones, and so, please God, secure a better understanding and a 
closer union between the mother country and her Indian 
Empire, to break down prejudice, to dispel misapprehension, 
and to foster sympathy and brotherhood' "* 

His Imperial Majesty's gracious intention to visit India was 
announced by LORD HARDINGE on his arrival in Bombay on 
the i8th November, 1910; it was referred to in the Speech from 
the Throne at the opening of Parliament on the 6th February, 
1911. A Proclamation, issued in England and in India simul- 
taneously on the 23rd March, 1911, declared "Now we, by this 
our Royal Proclamation, declare our Royal intention to hold at 
Delhi on the twelfth day of December, one thousand nine 
hundred and eleven, an Imperial Durbar for the purpose of 
making known the said Solemnity of our Coronation." 

Their Imperial Majesties the King-Emperor and the 
Queen-Empress set out from London for their journey to India 
on the nth of November 1911 and reached Bombay on the 
2nd of December ; and the Imperial Coronation Durbar was 
held on the 1 2th of the same month. At this great Durbar 
three announcements were made. The first was made by 
the King-Emperor himself and expressed his feelings of 
satisfaction and pleasure : " It is a sincere pleasure and 
gratification to myself and the Queen-Empress to behold this 
vast assemblage and in it my Governors and trusty officials, 
my great Princes, the representatives of the Peoples, and 
deputations from the Military forces of my Indian Dominions." 
The second announcement was made by the Governor-General, 
on behalf of the King Emperor, and declared and notified "the 
grants, concessions, reliefs, and benefactions which His Imperial 
Majesty has been graciously pleased to bestow upon this 
glorious and memorable occasion." The third was made by 
the King-Emperor himself and announced, in memorable words, 
"the transfer of the seat of the Government of India from 
Calcutta to the ancient Capital of Delhi, and simultaneously, 
and as a consequence of that transfer, the creation at as early 
a date as possible of a Governorship for the Presidency of 
Bengal, of a new Lieutenant-Governorship in Council adminis- 
tering the areas of Behar, Chota Nagpur and Orissa, and a 
Chief Commissionership of Assam." The correspondence lead- 
ing to these announcements is fully reprinted on pp. 377-398 of 

* The Historical Record of the Imperial Visit to India, p. 14. 



xlviii INTRODUCTION. 

this book and its contents are too well-known to need any 
summarising here. 

The solemn ceremony at Delhi was witnessed by officials, 
civil and military, great Feudatories, and representatives of the 
people, and its deep political and constitutional significance was 
understood by all. "Never before had an English King received 
his Imperial crown in India ; indeed, never before had a British 
sovereign set foot on Indian soil."* "The visit was really an 
emphatic announcement that India is an equal and integral part 
of the British Empire."f It was the perfect and practical fulfil- 
ment of the noble words of the great and good Queen " We 
hold ourselves bound to the Natives of our Indian Territories 
by the same obligations of duty which bind us to all our 
other subjects, and these obligations, by the blessing of Almighty 
God, we shall faithfully and conscientiously fulfil/' 

"The event was one of tremendous importance in the 
history of the Empire. Political aspirations were lifted to a 
higher plane, patriotism was broadened and intensified, a new 
pride arose in the heritage of the Empire, and with it a stronger 
feeling of mutual respect and better social relationship between 
the natives of India, and the natives of England, to all of whom 
the King was common, irrespective of religion, race or colour."}: 

"Its beneficial results were, and still are, so patent to all 
that there is no need to pursue the theme further. The work 
begun by QUEEN VICTORIA, and continued by KING EDWARD, 
has now been completed by KING GEORGE, and it will never 
have to be done again in quite the same sense ; but human 
memories are short, and India will ever hope for a renewal of 
its impressions and a closer asssociation with the Royal House. 
KING GEORGE and QUEEN MARY have forged the final link of 
gold, and India is now assured, without a shadow of doubt, of 
its part in the great Imperial commonwealth and of the inherent 
sympathy and high intentions of the rule which Their Majesties 
personify. It knows without doubt that it is no longer a mere 
subordinate and conquered land, but that it is bound by ties of the 
closest affection and heartfelt allegiance to a monarch who, 
amid all the multifarious interests and absorbing activities of 
his great position, has ever watched its welfare with the deepest 

* Ilbert : The Coronation Durbar and its consequences, p. 455. 
t The Historical Record of the Imperial Visit to India, p. 18. 
J The Historical Record of the Imperial Visit to India, p. 17. 



INTRODUCTION. 

interest and sought to give it an equal place in the dominions 
of the Empire ; a Sovereign, too, who lives for unity, in the 
certain knowledge that the brotherhood of his world-wide 
dominion can only be for the benefit of its members and for 
the blessing and advantage of untold millions of the human 
race".* 

RECENT STATUTES, 1911-1915, 

Before concluding this historical summary we ought to 
notice two more important statutes passed in two succeeding 
years. In 1911 was passed the Indian High Courts Act (I & 2 
Geo., V. c. 181 which (i) raised the maximum number of judges 
of a High Court of Judicature in India to twenty ; (2) gave 
power to His Majesty to establish new High Courts within His 
Majesty's dominions in India, whether or not included within 
the limits of the local jurisdiction of another High Court, and 
to make consequential changes altering the jurisdiction of that 
other High Court ; and, (3) empowered the Governor-General 
in Council to appoint temporary additional judges of any High 
Court for a term not exceeding two years. In exercise of the 
powers given by this Act a new High Court has already been 
established at Patna for the new Province of Behar and Orissa 
and the number of Judges of the Calcutta High Court has been 
raised to the maximum. 

In the very next year (1912) the Secretary of State for India 
introduced in the House of Lords an important Bill the Govern- 
ment of India Bill "to make such amendments in the law 
relating to the Government of India as are consequential on the 
appointment of a separate Governor of Fort William in Bengal, 
and other administrative changes in the local government of 
India". The Bill was passed into law on the 25th June, 1912. 
The main provisions of the Act are (i) that the Governor of 
Bengal should have all the rights, duties and functions which 
the Governors of Madras and Bombay possess ; (2) that 
an Executive Council should be created along with the 
new Lieutenant-Governorship of Behar and Orissa ; and 
(3) that the Governor-General should be empowered to 
constitute Legislative Councils for territories under a Chief 
Commissioner. The scope of this important Act is fully ex- 
plained by LORD CREWE in his speech on the second reading 
of the Government of India Bill (see pp. 142- 146). This is 

* The Historical Record of the Imperial Visit to India, pp. 19-20. 



1 INTRODUCTION. 

the last of the long series of important statutes which have 
moulded the Indian Constitution into its present shape : all the 
statutes have, however, now been consolidated into one single 
all-embracing measure the Government of India (consolida- 
tion) Act of 1915. 

II. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SYSTEM OF PROVINCIAL 
FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS. 

THE THEORY AND EARLY HISTORY OF THE SETTLEMENTS. 

The institution of Provincial Financial Settlements re- 
presents an attempt to solve a problem which must always arise 
where there exists a local government in complete or partial 
subordination to a supreme central authority. Certain classes of 
expenditure must obviously be left to the subordinate authority, 
while other services can be satisfactorily administered by the 
Central Government alone. Both these bodies require to be 
kept in funds. In India, where the great bulk of the revenues of 
the country is collected in, and credited in the accounts of, the 
various provinces, the problem resolves itself into the question 
how the Central Government can best be supplied with resources 
to meet the charges of the services which it must of necessity 
administer. The provincial settlements represent a method of 
attaining this object which has been evolved by diverse and 
protracted experiments, the history of which we now proceed 
to trace. 

Originally, the financial affairs of the three Presidencies 
were in the main kept separate until 1833 when, by Act of 
Parliament (3 & 4 Will. 4, c. 85, ss. 39 & S9\ the Governor- 
General was entrusted with a general control over Madras and 
Bombay. By this statute it was provided that "no Governor 
shall have the power of creating any new office or granting any 
new salary, gratuity or allowance, without the previous sanction 
of the Governor-General". All financial powers were thus 
practically vested in the Central Government. This continued 
up to 1871, as the Decentralisation Commission have observed 
in Para 54 of their Report. There they say "Save in respect 
to local cesses which were levied in some provinces, principally 
for roads, schools, and other items of local expenditure, each 
Provincial Government was absolutely dependent on sums 
annually assigned to it by the Central Government for the 
upkeep of its administrative services." 



INTRODUCTION. li 

The system was thus a centralized system by which the 
revenues of the whole of India, although received in the 
treasuries and sub-treasuries of the various provinces throughout 
India, were credited to a single account viz. the account of the 
Central Government ; and the Central Government took upon 
itself the entire distribution of the funds needed for the public 
service throughout India. 

The evils of the system were manifest. In the words of 
Sir JOHN STRACHEY* " the Supreme Government controlled 
the smallest details of every branch of the expenditure ; its 
authority was required for the employment of every person 
paid with public money, however small his salary, and its sanc- 
tion was necessary for the grant of funds even for purely local 
works of improvement, for every local road, for every building, 
however insignificant." 

Under such a system the Provincial Governments had 
little liberty, and but few motives for economy, in their expen- 
diture. While intended to effect economy, the system resulted 
in extravagance, for each Provincial Government was tempted 
to make unlimited demands, because there was almost no limit 
to their legitimate wants. " The local governments had no 
means of knowing the measure by which their annual de- 
mands upon the Government of India ought to be regulated. 
They had a purse to draw upon of unlimited, because unknown, 
depth. They saw on every side the necessity for improve- 
ments, and their constant and justifiable desire was to obtain 
for their own province and people as large a share as they 
could persuade the Government of India to give them out of 
the general revenues of the empire. They found by experience 
that the less economy they practised, and the more impor- 
tunate their demands, the more likely they were to persuade the 
Government of India of the urgency of their requirements." As 
MAJOR-GENERAL STRACHEY has remarked "The distribution 
of the public income degenerates into something like a scramble 
in which the most violent has the advantage, with very little 
attention to reason. As local economy leads to no local advan- 
tage, the stimulus to avoid waste is reduced to a minimum. 
So, as no local growth of the income leads to an increase of the 
local means of improvement, the interest in developing the 
public revenues is also brought down to the lowest level." 

* The Finances and Public Works of India, p. 131. 



Hi INTRODUCTION. 

The unsatisfactory condition of the financial relations bet- 
ween the Supreme and the Local Governments led to still more 
serious evils. Constant differences of opinion about petty 
details of expenditure, and constant interference of the Gov- 
ernment of India in matters of trivial importance, brought with 
them, as a necessary consequence, frequent conflicts with the 
Local Governments regarding questions of provincial adminis- 
tration of which they were the best judges, and of which the 
Government of India could know little. The relations between 
the Supreme Government and the Local Governments were 
altogether inharmonious, and every attempt to make financial 
control more stringent increased an antagonism the mischief of 
which was felt throughout the public service. 

There was thus continual friction between the Government 
of India and the Provincial Governments whose interests were 
made antagonistic. So far back as 1860 a reform of the system 
in the direction of provincialising finance was suggested by 
GENERAL DiCKENS, then Secretary to the Government of India 
in the Department of Public Works. MR. LAING, the Finance 
Minister, drew attention to the subject in his Budget statement 
for 1861-62, and again in 1862-63. In 1867, a definite scheme 
of Provincial Finance was drawn up by GENERAL RICHARD 
STRACHEY for Mr. MASSEY, then Finance Minister ; but 
nothing was actually accomplished at that time. 

LORD MAYO'S SCHEME OP PROVINCIAL FINANCIAL 
SETTLEMENTS. 

It was LORD MAYO vvho practically inaugurated the scheme 
of what is known as the "Provincial Financial Settlement," 
He resolved to give the Local Governments the economical 
standard which they required, to make over to them a certain 
income by which they must regulate their local expenditure 
and to leave to them, subject to certain general rules and con- 
ditions, the responsibility of managing their own local affairs. 

By a Resolution dated the I4th December, 1870, the fol- 
lowing heads of expenditure were transferred to the control 
of the Local Governments with the revenue under the corres- 
ponding heads and a fixed annual Imperial grant to meet them 
Jails, Registration, Police, Education, Medical Services, Prin- 
ting, Roads, Miscellaneous Public Improvements and Civil Buil- 
dings. Out of the Imperial assignment the Provincial Govern- 



INTRODUCTION. liii 

ments were required to pay 7 p. c. to the Imperial Government 
as a relief to its finances. The deficit, if any, was to be met 
either by local taxation or by reduction of expenditure. The 
following table will explain the nature of the financial arrange- 
ments : 

. 

Total Provincial Expenditure ... 5,667,000 

Imperial Assignment ... ... 4,689,000 

Receipts ... ... ... 647,000 

Assignment from Provincial to Imperial 331,000 

5,667,000 

The only provinces in which local taxes were imposed in 
consequence of LORD MAYO'S decentralization measures were 
Bombay, Bengal and Oudh ; and the total amount which they 
were expected to yield in the first year was .210,000. 

These arrangements separating provincial from imperial 
finances came into operation from the commencement of the 
official year 1871-72. The views of LORD MAYO were thus 
stated by himself in the Legislative Council on the iSth 
March 1871, 

" Under these 8 heads, it is proposed to entrust the administration 
under a few general conditions to the Provincial Governments, and a fixed 
contribution will be made from Imperial revenues every year.***** It is 
impossible to prophesy or say at present what can be done in the far 
future ,- but I should be misleading the Local Governments if I were not to 
say that it is our opinion that these sums are now fixed at an amount 
which cannot be exceeded for at least a number of years. I think it desi- 
rable that this should be perfectly understood, because, one of our objects is 
the attainment of as great an amount of financial certainty as is possible. 
We believe that, in justice to other public claims which are certain 
hereafter to be made on Imperial revenue, in view of increased charges 
for the payment of interest and other objects, we cannot, without recourse 
to large additional imperial taxation, increase this sum, as now fixed, to 
any very considerable amount. We know that, if it is necessary, the 
sums which have been hitherto allotted for this purpose can be increased by 
local taxation in a manner much less burdensome and much less offensive 
to the people than they could be by Imperial taxation. If it is necessary 
or desirable to spend more money, that money must come from some 
other source. It is possible that the wants of the Local Governments may 
increase, and I daresay they will ; but if they do, we believe, after most 
mature consideration, that these wants can better be supplied within the 
limits of the provinces themselves, than they can be by adding to the 
Imperial taxation and to the general burdens of the people. But, in 



liv INTRODUCTION. 

addition to the increased power of administration which it is proposed to 
give to the Local Governments, an administrative change will take place 
which I think they will be able to exercise with advantage. They will 
have a large sum to devote to local objects ; the power of allot- 
ment will be left absolutely to them, and they will be able to vary 
their grants from roads, civil buildings, education, and other heads 
from year to year, as they may think most desirable. In some 
provinces it may be desirable in one year to spend a larger sum on roads, 
in others it may be desirable to fill up some shortcomings with regard to 
education or other objects. The Local Governments will thus be able to 
exercise that power of allotment with much greater satisfaction to them- 
selves and to the public than they did under the old system, when they 
had been obliged to consult the Supreme Government, not only as to the 
allotments that were made in the beginning of the year, but also with regard 
to any appropriations that were thought desirable within the year, provided 
that those appropriations exceeded a certain amount. * * *. I have heard it 
stated that, by the proposals which we make, there may arise a separation 
of interests between the Supreme and Local Governments. I fail to perceive 
any strength whatever in this assertion. I believe that, so far from there 
being a separation of interests, the increased feeling of responsibility and 
the feeling of confidence which is reposed in them will unite and bind 
together the Supreme and Local Governments to a greater extent than 
before. * * *. I believe that we shall see, in place of greater uncertainty, 
greater certainty ; we shall see works and objects carried on with more 
vigour, enthusiasm, and with less hesitation, when these works and these 
objects are effected under the immediate responsibility of those who are 
most interested in them." 

These were not the only results which LORD MAYO 
anticipated from the adoption of the scheme. He believed 
that it would have a most important effect in stimulating and 
developing local and municipal institutions. "Local interest," so 
runs the famous Resolution of the I4th December 1870, "supervi- 
sion, and care are necessary to success in the management of 
funds devoted to education, sanitation, medical charity and 
local public works. The operation of this Resolution, in its 
full meaning and integrity, will afford opportunities for the 
development of self-government, for strengthening municipal 
institutions, and for the association of Natives and Europeans 
to a greater extent than heretofore in the administration of 
affairs. The Governor-General in Council is aware of the 
difficulties attending the practical adoption of these principles ; 
but they are not insurmountable. Disappointments and partial 
failures may occur ; but the object in view being the instruction 
of many peoples and races in a good system of administration, 
His Excellency in Council is fully convinced that the Local 
Governments and all their subordinates will enlist the active 
assistance, or at all events the sympathy, of the many classes 



INTRODUCTION. Iv 

which have hitherto taken little or no part in the work of social 
and material advancement," The Local Governments generally 
accepted the arrangements with alacrity, valuing highly the 
large increase of power accorded to them. 

LORD LYTTON'S NEW SCHEME OF PROVINCIAL 
FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS, 1877. 

The weak point in LORD MAYO'S measures of financial 
decentralisation was, according to SIR JOHN STRACHEY, that 
"while they transferred to the Local Governments the respon- 
sibility for meeting charges which had an undoubted tendency 
to increase, the income of which the Local Governments had to 
dispose, although not quite a fixed amount, had little room for 
development : the difficulty has perhaps not, hitherto, been 
generally felt to a serious extent, because it has been met by 
economy and good management : it must, however, be felt 
hereafter ; and, for this and for still more important reasons, I 
have always maintained that the system of Provincial Assign- 
ments established in 1871 ought to be applied not only to 
expenditure but to income, What we have to do is, not to give 
to the Local Governments fresh powers of taxation, but, on the 
contrary, to do all that we can to render fresh taxation un- 
necessary and to give to those governments direct inducements 
to improve those sources of existing revenue which depend for 
their productiveness on good administration." 

To effect these objects SIR JOHN STRACHEY, the Finance 
Minister under LORD LYTTON'S administration, introduced a 
new scheme which extended provincial independence in the 
matter of expenditure, and also conferred upon the Provincial 
Governments for the first time a large interest in the revenue 
receipts. Madras alone remained under the system of 1871. 

The new scheme was elaborated by SIR JOHN STRACHEY 
in the Financial Statement for 1877-78. He announced that the 
Government intended to proceed further and to transfer to the 
Local Governments the financial responsibility for other services, 
the cost of which had hitherto been met from the general 
revenues (i.e. from the Imperial assignments). The services so 
transferred were those connected with Land Revenue, Excise, 
Stamps, General Administration, Stationery, Law and Justice, 
all, in fact, except those for which the Supreme Government, 
was prevented by some special reason from transferring 



Ivi INTRODUCTION. 

the financial responsibility (such as Customs, Salt, Opium, 
Railways etc.,) 

The Local Governments did not receive for the performance 
of these newly transferred services, as they had for the services 
imposed on them by LORD MAYO, merely a lump sum from 
Imperial revenues. The opportunity was seized to make them 
responsible for the efficient collection of revenue as well as for 
its economical disbursement. The only source of revenue that 
had been transferred to the management of the Local Govern- 
ments by LORD MAYO, was the departmental receipts of the 
departments that they managed ; for the rest of the money 
that they spent, they depended on the permanent grants assigned 
to them. "Thus, while a direct interest had been given to 
them in distributing their resources well, and in spending them 
economically, they had no such interest in the collection of the 
revenue ; and, meanwhile, the excise and stamp duties were 
notoriously evaded, and the Government suffered, through 
careless collection of revenue, a loss of which the amount was, 
of course, unknown, but which was, in the opinion of the Finance 
Minister, very large." 

The Government of India, therefore, determined to give to 

the Local Governments, the servants of which had always had 

the duty of collecting the revenue, an interest in seeing that that 

duty was well discharged, and that the revenue was collected 

in full. This determination it carried out by assigning to the 

Local Governments, for the discharge of the services newly 

imposed on them, not an increase in their permanent grants, 

but a share in the revenue realised under certain heads in their 

respective provinces. To the North- Western Province (now 

the United Provinces) for example, they assigned the revenues 

derived from excise, stamps, law and justice, collections from 

certain estates, and some miscellaneous items, on condition 

that the Supreme Government should take half of any surplus 

that might be realised over the specified amount that these 

sources were estimated to yield, and should bear half of any 

deficit. The Local Governments, however, were not invested 

with any power of imposing fresh taxation, of undertaking 

any new general service, of abolishing or reducing the pay and 

allowances of any appointment with a salary of more than 

Rs. 250 a month, or of making any change in the system of 

revenue management, or in the form or procedure of the 

public accounts, without the sanction of the Government of 



INTRODUCTION. Ivii 

India. The principle of it all was that the Local Government 
should not enforce economy at the expense of the efficiency of 
the administration or increase expenditure which would affect 
the uniformity of the system in other parts of India. 

The Local Governments were required to keep the Gover- 
nor-General in Council, in the several departments, fully informed 
of their executive and financial proceedings. The position 
that the Government of India intended to take up with regard 
to the details of provincial finance was expressed in the following 
words 

"The Governor-General in Council will not relinquish his general powers 
of supervision and control in any department, but His Excellency will, as far 
as possible, avoid interference with the details of the administration of the 
transferred revenues and services, and any embarrassment of the provincial 
finances." 

The general result of the reform of 1877 was to give to the 
Provincial Governments a free Budget of about Rs. 16,000,000, 
including local funds. 

The following letter addressed to the Government of India 
expresses the opinion of the Government of Bengal on the new 
system, at a time when it had been recently introduced, and 
when, therefore, the difference between its effects on administra- 
tion and the effects of the old decentralising system was sharply 
felt 

"The Lieutenant-Governpr has found that the general effect of the 
extension of the decentralisation system, in respect to the facilities which it 
has given to provincial administration, has been even more satisfactory than 
he anticipated. In making the Local Governments responsible for expendi- 
ture, and giving them a direct interest in the development of various 
branches of the revenue, it has secured a careful scrutiny over the expendi- 
ture of all departments, and a deep interest in all improvable heads of 
revenue which has extended to all grades of the services. District officers 
understand that the Local Governments can sanction no new scheme, and 
tew new works, unless it has a constantly improving revenue,- and they have 
shown an earnest desire to assist the Government by the adoption of every 
measure which their local experience suggests as likely to have a beneficial 
effect on the revenues. At the same time the Local Government has, since 
the inauguration of the system of Provincial Finance in 1871-72, been in a 
position to carry out many works and many measures of improvement on 
its own responsibility, which would, under the old system, have possibly 
been delayed for an indefinite period. All friction with the Imperial 
Government, has been obviated, and much useless and unsatisfactory 
correspondence avoided." 



Iviii INTRODUCTION. 

LORD RIPON'S REFORMS IN THE SYSTEM OF PROVINCIAL 
FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS, 1882. 

The arrangements for 1877-78 left room for a further 
increase of provincial responsibility, in as much as a large pro- 
portion of the yearly income of each province was drawn, not 
from revenue for the collection of which the Local Government 
was responsible, but from a lump grant made by the Supreme 
Government. In 1882 when LORD RiPON was Governor-General 
and MAJOR BARING Finance Minister, a modified scheme of 
Provincial Finance was introduced for a period of 5 years. The 
new system introduced was as follows. A fixed permanent 
grant was no longer assigned to the Local Governments as a part 
of their resources, but, instead, they were granted the whole 
product of some sources of revenue, and a share in the product of 
others, including land revenue. The result was that a few, includ- 
ing Opium, Salt, Customs, Tributes, Post Office and Military 
Receipts, were reserved almost wholly as Imperial ; a few others, 
such as receipts by Civil Departments and receipts from 
Provincial Public Works, were handed over almost entirely to 
the Provincial Governments ; the majority, being those before 
transferred, with the addition of Forests and Registration, were 
divided, for the most part in equal proportions, between the 
Imperial and Provincial exchequers ; and as the balance was 
against the Provinces, this was rectified not by the allotment of 
a lump sum as formerly, but by a fixed percentage on the Land 
Revenue, which was thus also in a measure made Provincial. 

The general result of the arrangement of 1882 was that the 
revenue of the Local Governments was for the five years from 
that time made up of 

The whole of the revenue under heads 

producing . . 4,000,000 

Half of the revenue under heads 

producing ... ... 8,000,000 

A larger or smaller proportion under 
heads (chiefly land revenue) 
producing ... ... 23,000,000 

An almost nominal share under heads 

producing 7,000,000 

Thus the Local Governments had a direct interest in the 
collection of revenue to the amount of 42,000,000, while they 



INTRODUCTION. lix 

administered the expenditure wholly under heads for which, the 
grants at the time of making the agreements amounted to 
15,000,000, and to a very small extent under heads for which 
the grants amounted to 4,000,000. 

Another measure, affecting the relations between the 
Supreme Government and the Local Governments was adopted 
in 1882. The financial relations between the Imperial and 
Provincial Governments were defined in respect to the two 
extraordinary charges of war and famine. With regard to war, 
no demand was to be made on the Provincial Governments 
except in the case of a disaster so abnormal as to exhaust the 
Imperial reserves, and to necessitate the suspension of the 
entire machinery of public improvement throughout the Empire. 
With regard to famine, it was declared that the Imperial 
Government would come to the assistance of the Provincial 
Governments at an earlier point than before, i.e., when the 
famine was proved to be severe, and as soon as the Provincial 
resources were embarrassed, without regard to the actual 
amount expended. And, as the Imperial Government made 
an allotment every year of 1,500,000 for Famine Relief 
and Insurance, it was no longer held incumbent on the Provin- 
cial Governments to accumulate any special reserve on this 
account. 

Thus the Local Governments were placed in a position to 
enjoy, in the management of the resources entrusted to them for 
the administration and internal development of their respective 
provinces, a security such as was unknown to the Government of 
India. As MAJOR BARING remarked, "one result of the provincial 
arrangement concluded in 1882 was, that of the four peculiar 
dangers ro which the finances of India were exposed viz. war, 
a diminution of the opium revenue, fall of exchange and famine, 
the first three had had to be met by the Government of India 
and only the fourth was felt by the Local Governments." 

ALTERATIONS IN THE SYSTEM OP PROVINCIAL 
FINANCIAL SETTLEMENTS, 1884-1897. 

The next alteration in the system of provincial finance 
was made in 1884. In the three years preceding that year the 
Local Governments had been spending the large balances that 
had accumulated during the Afghan war, when the Government 
of India had temporarily checked provincial expenditure, and 
and also the Rs 670,000 which the Government of India had 



Ix INTRODUCTION, 

withdrawn from them during the war, and had subsequently 
refunded. This abnormal expenditure suggested the adoption 
of a measure to prevent exessive fluctuations in the fianances 
of the Local Governments, and with effect from the ist of 
April in that year, a minimum was prescribed below which 
the balance to the credit of each Local Government was not to 
be allowed to fall, according to the Budget estimate. 

The administrative results of the system were described 
as follows in 1885 by SIR AUCKLAND COLVIN, then financial 
Member of the Viceroys' Council "The system inaugurated 
by LORD MAYO, which has now fully taken root and become 
part of our system of local administration in India, has continued 
during the last three years to work greatly to the advantage of 
the several Governments which share in it, Friction has been 
reduced to a minimum ; and if, as was inevitable, questions 
have, from time to time, arisen, regarding the amount of assist- 
ance to be afforded by the Government of India to this or 
that Local Government in regard to some particular project, or 
some reform involving an increased outlay of funds, they have 
given evidence of the existence of a spirit of mutual concession, 
which is in marked contrast to the relations existing in former 
times between the Supreme and the Provincial Governments 
under the centralised system of finance." 

In 1887 when the term of the quinquennial arrangements 
made in 1882 came to an end, the Government of India appointed 
a Finance Committee to investigate the financial administration 
of each province and to offer suggestions for the framing of the 
agreements that were to be made for the quinquennium 1887- 
88 1891-92. The general result of the revision was to transfer 
an annual sum of Rs. 64,00,000, or, allowing for increased grants, 
a net sum of Rs. 55,00,000 from Provincial to Imperial revenues, 
the estimate being based upon the increased receipts under the 
different main heads, and making due allowance for increased 
provincial demands, 

There was again another revision of the settlement in 
1891-2 which came into operation from 1892-3 and of which the 
result was a further resumption by the Imperial Government of 
the surplus of Provincial receipts to the amount of Rs. 46,63,000 
which represented about 25 p. c. of the increased revenue that 
accrued during the currency of the arrangements that expired 
with 1891-92. 

Towards the close of this quinquennium t.e., in 1897 the 



INTRODUCTION. Ixi 

provincial finances were reviewed, an estimate was made of the 
expenditure thought necessary for each province on all the 
services with which it was charged, and a suitable proportion of 
the revenue collected in the province was set apart to meet it. 
Under the contracts of 1897, the Provincial Governments, speak- 
ing generally, retained the whole of the provincial rates, and of 
the receipts of certain departments, such as law courts, jails, 
police, education, medical services, local marine services, 
scientific departments, pension contribution, most of the minor 
irrigation works, certain state railways, and major irrigation 
works, buildings and roads, stationery and some miscellaneous 
heads ; three-fourths of the stamp revenue ; half of the revenue 
from assessed taxes, forests, and registration ; a varying pro- 
portion (generally one-fourth) of the land revenue, and one fourth 
of the excise revenue (or one-half in Burma and Bengal). 
With some exceptions, they had to meet out of these revenues 
expenditure under most of the heads just enumerated, and 
a share of the cost of collection under the revenue heads 
corresponding to the proportion of the receipts which they 
received, though in the case of land revenue, they bore, except 
in Bengal, the whole cost of collection. They were also 
responsible for famine-relief expenditure up to their financial 
capacity, for certain political charges, and miscellaneous 
items. The total revenues thus assigned to them amounted 
in 1901-2 to 16,746,000, while the aggregate of the revenue 
heads in the collection of which they had a direct and substan- 
tial interest was ^"36,811,000 or nearly 49 p. c. of the gross 
revenues of India. 

Any balance which they could accumulate by careful 
administration was placed to their credit in the accounts ; but 
on occasions of extraordinary stress, the Central Government 
had sometimes called upon them to surrender a portion of their 
balances. This was done during the Afghan War, after which 
the sums so taken were refunded; and again in 1886-87, m 
1890-91 and in 1894-95, the amounts being refunded in the last 
two instances. 

THE QUASI-PERMANENT SETTLEMENTS, 1904. 

The quinquennial contract of 1897 which would normally 
have expired in 1902 was temporarily prolonged till the 
year 1904 which witnessed an important new departure, viz. y 

g 



Ixii INTRODUCTION. 

the institution of a system of quasi- permanent settlements.* 
Under these the revenues assigned to a Provincial Government 
were definitely fixed, and were not subject to alteration by the 
Government of India save in the case of grave Imperial neces- 
sity, or in the event of experience proving the assignment made 
to have been materially disproportionate to normal Provincial 
requirements. Settlements of this character were made with all 
major Provinces. 

The object and principal effects of these settlements were 
stated to the Royal Commission on Decentralisation by the 
Financial Secretary to the Government of India in the following 
terms : 

The general principles which underlie the financial settlements made 
by the Government of India with a Local Government are as follows : 

(a) That the Government of India shall retain certain administra- 

tive services which it is inexpedient to hand over to Provincial 
Governments, and that they shall reserve the revenue from 
these services, and such a share of the other public revenues 
as shall be adequate to the expenditure falling upon them. 

(b) That the remaining administrative services of the country being 

entrusted to Provincial Governments, each Local Government 
shall receive an assured income which will be independent of 
the needs of the Government of India and sufficient for its 
normal expenditure. 

(f) That this income shall be given in the form of a defined share of 
the revenue which the Local Government collects, in order 
that the Local Government's resources may expand along with 
the needs of its administration. 

(d) That, so far as possible, the same share of the chief sources of 
revenue shall be given to each Province, to insure a reasonable 
equality of treatment. 

*~- *'*'*< 

The object of making Provincial settlements ^ajz-permanent was to 
give the Local Governments a more independent position, and a more 
substantial and enduring interest in the management of their resources 
than had previously been possible. Under the previous system, when 
settlements were revised every five years, it was the practice for the 
Imperial Government to resume the surplus of the Local Government's 
revenue over its expenditure. This unfortunate necessity (which it is only 
just to say was largely the result of severe financial pressure on the Govern- 
ment of India during the years of low exchange) went far to destroy any 
incentive in a Local Government to economise, as it knew that its reduced 

* This account is based on pp. 28-30 of the Report of the Royal Commission 
on Decentralization , 1909. 



INTRODUCTION. Ixiii 

standard of expenditure would be the basis for a correspondingly unfavour- 
able settlement at the next revision. All this disappears under the existing 
system. A Local Government need not fear, in any except very abnormal 
circumstances, the resumption of its surplus revenue by the Imperial 
Government ; it can count upon a reasonable continuity of financial policy ; 
it will be able to enjoy fully the fruits of its economies, and it will not be 
hurried into ill-considered proposals in order to raise its apparent 
standard of expenditure. On the other hand, the Imperial Government 
improves its relations with Local Governments by avoiding five-yearly 
controversies over the settlement ; it can calculate its own resources with 
more confidence, and can undertake reductions of taxation or fresh schemes 
of expenditure with a clearer knowledge of the consequences than was 
formerly possible. 

Generally speaking, the effect of these settlements was as 
follows : the Government of India received the whole of the 
revenue accruing from opium, salt, customs, mint, railways, 
post and telegraphs, and tributes from Native States, while the 
Provincial Governments got all receipts from registration and 
from the spending departments which they managed, such as 
police, education, law and justice, and medical. The receipts 
from land revenue, excise, stamps, income tax, and forests were 
divided between the Imperial and Provincial Governments, 
generally in equal proportions. The receipts from the larger irri- 
gation works were also generally shared : those from minor 
irrigation works were (except in one Province) wholly Provin- 
cial, as were also civil works receipts other than those appertain- 
ing to Imperial buildings. The bulk of the Provincial revenues 
was derived from the divided heads. 

Expenditure in connexion with sources of revenue which 
were wholly Imperial was Imperial also, while, subject to minor 
exceptions, Provincial revenues were responsible, for the whole 
of the expenditure incurred within the Province in connexion 
with land-revenue (which included district administration), regis- 
tration, law and justice, police, jails, education, medical, station- 
ery and printing, and Provincial civil works. Charges relating 
to stamps, excise, income tax and forests were equally divided, 
while the incidence of Irrigation expenditure followed that of 
the receipts. The Provincial Governments were also respon- 
sible for the charges of such scientific and minor departments as 
they administered, and for political charges in connexion with 
Native States under their control ; but the bulk of the expendi- 
ture in connexion with the Political Departments fell on the 
Government of India, as did all ecclesiastical charges. 

The charges thrown on Provincial Governments by these 



Ixiv INTRODUCTION. 

settlements being, generally, somewhat in excess of the assigned 
revenues, the difference was made up, as formerly, by a fixed 
assignment under the land-revenue head ; but the policy of the 
Government of India was to make such assignments as small as 
possible, when the settlement was framed, so as to enable each 
Province to derive the bulk of its resources from growing 
revenues. 

Moreover, with these ^^/-permanent settlements, the 
Provincial Governments concerned had all received considerable 
initial lump-grants, principally with the object of enabling 
them to undertake works of public utility at an earlier 
date than would have been possible from their ordinary 
revenues. Further, the ordinary resources of the Provinces 
had been largely supplemented by special grants, principally 
for the development of police reform, agriculture and 
education, and the Government of India had also made a special 
assignment to supplement the ordinary revenues of district 
boards. Finally, new arrangements were made for relieving 
Provinces of the burden of famine relief. The Government 
of India was to place, year after year, up to a fixed maximum, 
to the credit of each Province exposed to famine, a specific 
amount calculated roughly with reference to its estimated 
famine liabilities ; and when famine actually occurred, the 
Provincial Government was to draw in full on this credit 
without trenching on its normal resources. When such credit 
had been exhausted, the famine charges were to be divided 
equally between the Imperial and Provincial Governments, 
instead of being wholly debited to the latter ; and if, even 
under these conditions, the Provincial balances should be 
depleted below half the ordinarily prescribed minimum 
further assistance was to be given from Imperial revenues.* 

* This scheme called the Famine Insurance Scheme, which came into oper- 
ation from 1907-8, is thus described by SlR JAMES MESTON in his Financial Statement 
for the year 1907-1908, " The ruling principle of the scheme is to enable each local 
Government whose territories are liable to famine gradually to build up a reserve of 
credit with the Imperial government on which it will be at liberty to draw when 
it becomes necessary to incur expenditure on famine relief. The means of creating 
this reserve of credit will be provided from Imperial revenues, in the form of an 
increase to the annual fixed assignment of each Local Government. This arrange- 
ment is equitable, and indeed necessary, because the existing Provincial settlements 
make no allowance for famine relief expenditure, and the Provincial Governments 
could not provide the funds without curtailing their ordinary expenditure." 

"When famine occurs, the Local Government will be entitled to draw upon the 
amount standing to its credit to meet its famine expenditure, and charges thus 
incurred will be shown in our accounts as Imperial expenditure instead of being 



INTRODUCTION. Ixv 

At the time when the Royal Commission on Decentralisa- 
tion published their report in 1909, there were three noticeable 
features in the Provincial Financial Settlement System 

(1) The settlements had been declared to be quasi-permanent. 

The Government of India had, it is true, reserved the right of 
revision, but they had promised to exercise that power "only 
when the variations from the initial relative standards of 
revenue and expenditure were, over a substantial term of 
years, so great as to result in unfairness either to the province 
itself or to the Government of India, or in the event of the 
Government of India being confronted with the alternatives 
of either imposing general taxation, or seeking assistance 
from the provinces". 

(2) The distribution of revenues between the Provincial and Central 

Governments was made, except on occasions of grave emer- 
gency, with direct reference not to the needs of the Central 
Government, but to the outlay which each province might 
reasonably claim to incur upon services which it administered. 
The first step taken in concluding a settlement was to ascertain 
the needs of the province and assign revenue to meet them, 
the residue only of the income of the province coming into the 
Imperial Exchequer. 

(3) The third feature of the system was the method by which the 

revenue accruing from various sources was distributed. The 
residue which was available for Imperial purposes was taken 
in the shape of a fixed fractional share in a few of the main 
heads of revenue, which were known as "divided heads". As, 
however, the distribution of these heads could never be so 
adjusted as to yield to the province, when added to the 
revenue from the purely provincial heads, the exact sum 
necessary to meet provincial charges, equilibrium was effected 
by means of fixed cash assignments ; a deficiency being 
remedied by an assignment to provincial revenues from the 
imperial share of the land revenue, and an excess by the 
reverse process. 

provincial as at present, and an account will be kept of the amounts thus accumula. 
ted year by year to the credit of each government. In a famine of relatively small 
extent the reserve of credit will usually be sufficient to meet the whole charge, and 
the Local Government wiil be secured from all dislocation of its ordinary administra- 
tive machinery." 

"If a famine should be widespread or severe, it is possible that the reserve of 
credit may be exhausted. When that happens, we have decided that any further 
expenditure on famine relief shall be equally shared between the Imperial and the 
Local Government, instead of being wholly provincial as at present. Both govern- 
ments will bear their share of the inevitable burden, but the Local Government will 
have to support it to only one-half of the extent that it does at present." 

"If a famine should unhappily be prolonged, it may happen that even this 
measure of assistance may be insufficient. We have therefore decided that when, in 
consequence of the prevalence of famine the balances of any Local Government are 
depleted, so that they fall below one-half of the prescribed minimum, further 
assistance shall be given from Imperial revenues." 



Ixvi INTRODUCTION. 

THE SCHEME OP PERMANENT PROVINCIAL FINANCIAL 

SETTLEMENTS, 1912 

In 1912 no alteration was made in these general principles 
except in the direction of giving greater permanency to the 
settlements. From the point of view of the Central Govern- 
ment a measure of this kind was rendered vitally important by 
the existing situation of Imperial finances. Simultaneously 
with the prospect of the loss of a considerable annual revenue 
from opium, the Government of India was faced by the necessity 
of providing large and increasing funds for the extension of 
education, for the improvement of sanitation, and for other 
kindred purposes. To insure successful conduct of their finance 
in these circumstances it was essential to remove every avoid- 
able element of uncertainty. They therefore decided to introduce 
as great a degree of finality as possible into the financial rela- 
tions of the Imperial with the Provincial Governments. 

Before detailing the steps which the Government of India 
decided to take in order to secure an increase of permanency 
in the settlements, we shall indicate here some of the minor 
points that were settled in the Resolution of 1912. The first of 
these points was the desirability of converting over-grown fixed 
assignments into shares of growing revenues. The Government 
of India decided that fixed assignments should be replaced by 
a share of growing revenue in the following circumstances 
only : 

(1) When an assignment is so large as to prevent the increment in 

revenue from keeping abreast of the legitimate and necessary 
growth of expenditure ; 

(2) When the financial outlook of the moment justifies the abandon- 

ment of the necessary amount of growing revenue in exchange 
for the reduction of the fixed charge. 

The second point was the question of lump grants from 
Imperial to Provincial balances. Such grants have frequently 
been given to individual provinces, in order either to admit local 
Governments to a share in a "windfall" or an exceptional in- 
crease of prosperity, or to afford the means of financing a policy 
which commends itself to the central authority. The principle 
of making allotments of this kind, which has been described as a 
"policy of doles", was subjected to considerable criticism 
before the Royal Decentralisation Commission. The chief 
charges brought against this policy are that it increases 



INTRODUCTION. Ixvii 

the opportunities for interference by the Government of 
India in provincial affairs ; that a fair distribution of 
the grants among the provinces is frequently a matter of 
extreme difficulty ; and that this system often compels Local 
Governments to spend money on objects of less comparative 
urgency than other needs of their populations, From the point 
of view of the stability of Imperial finances, the policy has the 
additional disadvantage that it must tend to decrease the 
provincial sense of financial responsibility, by accustoming Local 
Governments to look for special and spasmodic assistance outside 
the terms of their settlements. While fully appreciative of these 
drawbacks attaching to the system, the Government of India 
were convinced that the total abolition of the doles was im- 
practicable. 

A line of policy pressed upon the Government of India by 
the Secretary of State, by the obvious trend of public opinion 
or by the competition for efficiency among Local Governments, 
must frequently be passed on to the provinces, and to insure its 
efficient prosecution, it is essential that the latter should be pro- 
vided with funds additional to their ordinary resources. Again, 
it often happens that the Imperial Government secures a surplus 
which cannot suitably be employed in the reduction of taxation, 
and it naturally wishes to share its windfall with the provin- 
ces. In both these cases, doles are unavoidable. To mini- 
mise these disadvantages the Government of India have accep- 
ted the three recommendations of the Royal Decentralisation 
Commission. 

(1) The system should not involve any greater degree of interfer- 

ence by the Central with the Local Governments than at 
present exists ; 

(2) The grants should be given with due regard to the wishes of 

the provincial authorities ; 

(3) They should not necessarily be assigned for the same object in 

every province. 

Together with these changes, some variations were made 
in the terms of the settlements in the various provinces before 
they were declared to be permanent. These are as follow 

(i) (a) Forest revenue and expenditure were made wholly provincial 
in all provinces. 

(b) Excise revenue and expenditure were made wholly provincial 
in ^Bombay, while in the Central Provinces and the United 
Provinces the provincial share of these heads was increased 
to three-fourths. 



Ixviii INTRODUCTION. 

(c} Land revenue was made half-provincial in the Punjab and 
five-eighths provincial in Burma. 

(d] The provincial interest of the Punjab in major irrigation 
works was raised from three-eighths to one-half. 

(2) The fixed assignment ; of the various provinces were reduced by 
the amount which these changes of classification added to the 
provincial share of growing revenues. 

Having thus remedied the defects of the then existing 
settlements, the Government of India approached the task of 
imparting greater permanency to their financial relations with 
Provincial Governments. They realised, at the outset, that 
complete permanency was not attainable. The possibility of 
famine constitutes a danger to the settlement contracts against 
which it is impossible to provide adequate safeguards. The 
Famine Insurance Scheme is a convenient device for distributing 
the expenditure on famine in its earlier stages, or on a partial 
scarcity ; but a really widespread calamity would sweep it 
away and leave the provinces dependent in large measure upon 
the bounty of the Imperial Government. In a crisis of this 
kind the Government of India must of necessity step in and 
supplement the provincial resources, as it has done in the past, 
and the contract obligations will, for the time being, remain 
partially in suspense. Subject, however, to provision against 
famine, the Government of India considered that the settlements, 
as now revised, might safely be declared to be fixed in per- 
petuity. They held that the time had come when Local 
Governments might reasonably be informed that certain growing 
sources of revenue had been placed, once and for all, at their 
disposal from which to meet the future needs of the province 
which they administered. It would be for them to husband 
their resources and lay them out to the best economical 
advantage. With the introduction of this element of fixity into 
the financial relations, it would be possible to allow provincial 
authorities far greater independence within definite limits, and 
to relax a great measure of the control which the Government 
of India had hitherto exercised over the provincial bodies. 

We may now summarise the rules governing the future 
relations of Provincial and Imperial finances as laid down in the 
Resolution of May 18, 1912. 

(i) The provincial settlements will, in future, be permanent and not 
subject to revision ; in case of serious famine in a province, 
the question of assistance from the revenues of the Govern- 



INTRODUCTION. Ixix 

ment of India will be considered. The Government of India 
reserve the right to call for assistance from provincial 
revenues in the event of grave embarrassment in their own 
finances. 

(ii) When the fixed assignment of a province becomes unduly high 
and hampers the expansion of its revenue, as compared with 
the legitimate and necessary growth of expenditure, it will 
ordinarily be converted, either in whole or in part, into a 
share of growing revenue as soon as the state of Imperial 
finances permits. 

(iil) In the event of the grant of special allotments to Local 
Governments out of surplus revenues not required for the 
remission of taxation, the reduction of debt or other purposes, 
the Government of India will retain the option of declaring 
the purposes for which the money is provided, but 
(a) the grants will not involve greater interference by the Central 

Government than at present exists ; 
() they will be allotted with due regard to the wishes of the 

recipient Governments, and 

(c) they need not necessarily be devoted to one and the same 
purpose in every province. 

(iv) A Local Government may not budget for a deficit, unless it 
satisfies the Government of India that the excess expenditure 
is due to an exceptional and non-recurring cause, and also, 
if the deficit involves reduction of the provincial balance below 
the prescribed minimum, that suitable arrangements will be 
made for the restoration of the minimum. 

(v) If a Local Government exhausts its own balances and receives 
permission to overdraw upon the general balances, it will be 
required to take the necessary amount as a short loan from 
the Government of India. The loan will bear interest and will 
be repayable in such instalments as the Central Government 
may direct. 

(vi) Future corrections by the Government of India will be 
restricted to 

(a) divided heads and 

(b) the proposed totals of revenue and expenditure. 

These rules represent, in the opinion of the Government of 
India, a decided advance in the path of decentralisation. They 
place a greater responsibility on Local Governments for the 
stability of their provincial finances, while at the same time 
investing them with wide independence. 

In their Resolution of May 18, 1912 the Government of 

India also considered the two important questions of Provincial 

Taxation and Provincial Loans. Henceforth Local Governments 

are not to impose additional taxation without the previous 

k 



Ixx INTRODUCTION. 

sanction of the Government of India. If, in the future, there 
should come about a clear separation between imperial and 
provincial finance, with a more effective control over the latter 
by the Legislative Councils, it might become practicable and 
necessary to allow Local Governments to levy special provincial 
taxation if they wished to increase their scale of provincial 
expenditure. 

The Government of India assent to the theoretical con- 
sideration that, in a vast country of greatly varying conditions, 
Imperial taxation must, of necessity, be restricted in its range, 
as very few taxes are suitable for imposition in every part of 
the Indian Empire ; that the incidence of an Imperial impost 
must be lighter in some areas than in others ; that provincial 
taxation might not inappropriately balance such inequalities ; 
that a tax which would cause dissatisfaction in one part of the 
country might arouse no opposition in another ; and that ex- 
periments in taxation might thus be made with safety on a 
small scale which would be imprudent or even dangerous, if 
applied to India as a whole. 

These considerations are, however, theoretical only. No 
practical scheme has been submitted to the Government of 
India which, therefore, sees no reason for removing the safe- 
guards which now surround its imposition. But they recognize 
that "Financial autonomy for the provinces, if and when it 
arises, must carry with it the power of taxation." 

As regards the raising of loans by Local Governments, 
they are not permitted to raise them in the open market, for 
that would compete with Imperial loans. A further objection 
to the flotation of provincial loans lies in the undesirability 
of increasing the non-productive debt of India. The Local 
Governments are however, to be granted short-term loans from 
Imperial revenues to meet the cost of large non-productive 
works of manifest utility which they cannot finance from their 
own resources. 

IV. THE DEVELOPMENT OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT 
UNDER BRITISH RULE. 

URBAN SELF-GOVERNMENT. 

Rudimentary institutions for the conduct of local affairs 
have existed in India, from time immemorial, in the village 
communities, and trade guilds in towns. SIR CHARLES MET- 



INTRODUCTION. Ixxi 

CALFE gives an excellent description of the former in the follow- 
ing lines "The village communities are little republics, having 
nearly everything they can want within themselves, and al- 
most independent of foreign relations. They seem to last 
where nothing else lasts. Dynasty after dynasty tumbles 
down ; revolution succeeds to revolution ; Hindu, Pathan, 
Mogul, Mahratta, Sikh, English, are all masters in turn, but the 
village community remains the same." 

But between these ancient institutions and the municipality 
or rural board of the India of to-day there is a wide gulf, and 
the one class of bodies is not a historical development of the 
other. Local Self-Government, in the legally constituted form 
in which it now prevails in India, is essentially a product of 
British rule. The existing system of municipal administration 
is for the most part of comparatively recent introduction, while 
local institutions in rural areas are of still later origin, and have 
been also of slower growth. 

To deal first with municipalities, the Presidency towns 
had some form of municipal administration, first under Royal 
Charters and later under statute, from comparatively early times, 
but outside of them there was practically no attempt at muni- 
cipal legislation before 1842. An Act passed in that year for 
Bengal, which was practically inoperative, was followed in 1850 
by an Act applying to the whole of India. Under this Act and 
subsequent provincial Acts a large number of muncipalities 
were formed in all provinces. The Acts provided for the ap- 
pointment of commissioners to manage municipal affairs, and 
authorised the levy of various taxes, but in most provinces the 
commissioners were all nominated, and from the point of view 
of self-government these Acts did not proceed far enough. 

Local Self-Goverment, as a conscious process of adminis- 
trative devolution and political education dates, outside Presi- 
dency towns, from the financial reforms of LORD MAYO'S Gov- 
ernment who, in their Resolution of 1870, introducing the sys- 
tem of provincial finance, referred to the necessity of taking 
further steps to bring local interest, supervision and care to 
bear on the management of funds devoted to education, sanita- 
tion, medical charity, and local public works. LORD MAYO'S 
Government hoped that "the operation of the Resolution, in its 
full meaning and integrity, would afford opportunities for 
the development of self-government, for strengthening munici- 
pal institutions, and for the association of Natives and Euro- 



Ixxii INTRODUCTION. 

peans, to a greater extent than heretofore in the administration 
of affairs." New Municipal Acts were passed for the various 
provinces between 1871 and 1874, which, among other things, 
extended the elective principle, but only in the Central Provinces 
was popular representation generally and successfully intro- 
duced. 

In 1 88 1 LORD RIPON'S Government issued a Resolution 
on the Extension of Provincial Finance in which they explained 
that intimately connected with the general scheme for the 
decentralisation of finance was the important question of deve- 
loping local self-government. They admitted that considerable 
progress in that direction had been made since 1870 : a large 
income from local rates and cesses had been secured, and in 
some provinces the management of this income had been freely 
entrusted to local bodies : municipalities had also increased in 
number and usefulness. But there was still, it was remarked, a 
greater inequality in progress in different parts of the country 
than varying local circumstances seemed to warrant. In many 
places services admirably adapted for local management were 
reserved in the hands of the central administration, while every- 
where heavy charges were levied on Municipalities in connection 
with the Police, over which they had necessarily no executive 
control. 

Paragraph n of the Resolution (1881) went on to say : 

"His Excellency the Governor-General in Council is, therefore, of 
opinion that the time has now arrived when further practical development 
might be afforded to the intentions of LORD MAYO'S Government, and that 
the Provincial agreements should no longer exclude from all consideration 
the mass of taxation under Local and Municipal management, together with 
the similar resources still retained in Provincial control, and ignore the 
question of local self-government. The Provincial Governments, while 
being now largely endowed from Imperial sources, may well, in their turn, 
hand over to local self-government considerable revenues, at present kept 
in their own hands, but similar in kind to many which have long been 
''locally" managed with success by committees, partly composed of non- 
official members, and subject only to a general remedial control reserved to 
the state by the legislature. At the same time, such items should be 
generally made Local as the people are most likely to be able to under- 
stand the use of and to administer well." 

The policy thus enunciated by the Government of India 
was loyally, and in some cases, warmly accepted by the Local 
Governments. Meanwhile LORD RIPON'S Government issued 
in 1882 another Resolution to explain somewhat more fully the 
general mode in which they would wish to see effect given to 



INTRODUCTION. Ixxiii 

the principle of local self-government throughout British India 
outside Presidency towns. In the fifth paragraph of this famous 
Resolution LORD RIPON'S Government thus expressed in elo- 
quent terms their firm faith in the principles of self-govern- 
ment : 

"It is not primarily with a view to improvement in administration that 
this measure is put forward and supported. It is chiefly desirable as an 
instrument of political and popular education. His Excellency in Council 
has himself no doubt that, in course of time, as local knowledge and local 
interest are brought to bear more freely upon local administration, im- 
proved efficiency will in fact follow. But at starting, there will doubtless be 
many failures, calculated to discourage exaggerated hopes, and even in 
some cases to cast apparent discredit upon the practice of self-government 
itself. If, however, the officers of Government only set themselves, as the 
Governor-General in Council believes they will, to foster sedulously the 
small beginnings of the independent political life ; if they will accept loyally 
and as their own the policy of the Government, and if they come to realise 
that the system really opens to them a fairer field for the exercise of ad- 
ministrative tact and directive energy than the more autocratic system 
which it supersedes, then it may be hoped that the period of failures will be 
short, and that real and substantial progress will very soon become mani- 
fest". 

In pursuance of the policy laid down by LORD RIPON'S 
Government Acts were passed in 1883-4 that greatly altered the 
constitution, powers and functions of local bodies, a wide exten- 
sion being given to the elective system, while independence and 
responsibility were conferred on the committees of many towns 
by permitting them to elect a private citizen as chairman. 
Arrangements were made also to increase the resources and 
financial responsibility of local bodies, some items of provincial 
revenue suited to and capable of development under local 
management being transferred, with a proportionate amount of 
provincial expenditure, for local objects. The general principles 
thus laid down had continued to govern the administration of 
municipalities down to this year when LORD HARDINGE'S 
Government issued another important Resolution declaring 
their future policy regarding local Self-Government. 

RURAL SELF-GOVERNMENT. 

The establishment of boards for dealing with local affairs 
in rural areas is a relatively recent development. No such 
boards existed in 1858, though some semi-voluntary funds 
for local improvements had been raised in Madras and Bombay, 
while in Bengal and in the United Provinces consultative com- 



Ixxiv INTRODUCTION. 

mittees assisted the district officers in the management of 
funds devoted to local schools, roads, and dispensaries. The 
system of raising cesses on land for purposes of this description 
was introduced by legislation in Madras and Bombay between 
1865 and 1869; m tne case of Bombay, nominated committees 
were to administer the proceeds of the cess. The year 1871 
saw a wide development of legislation for local administrative 
purposes, partly due to growing needs, and partly the result of 
the financial decentralisation scheme of LORD MAYO'S Govern- 
ment, various Acts being passed in different provinces pro- 
viding for the levy of rates and the constitution of local bodies, 
in some cases with an elected element, to administer the 
funds. The whole system was reorganised in accordance with 
the policy of LORD RIPON'S Government which in 1881-2 
issued orders for replacing the then existing local committees 
by a system of boards extending all over the country. The 
lowest administrative unit was to be small enough " to ensure 
both local knowledge and local interest on the part of each 
of the members," and the various minor boards of the district 
were to be under the control of a general district board and 
to send delegates to a district council for the settlement of 
measures common to all. The non-official element was to 
preponderate and the elective principle was to be recognized, 
as in the case of municipalities, while the resources and finan- 
cial responsibilities of the boards were to be increased by 
transferring items of provincial revenue and expenditure. It 
was, however, recognised that conditions were not sufficiently 
advanced or uniform to permit of one general system being 
imposed in all provinces, and a large discretion was left to 
Local Governments. The systems introduced in different parts 
of India by the Acts of 1883-85 (most of which are still in forced 
consequently varied greatly. 

THE PRESENT LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT POLICY OP 
THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. 

The Royal Commission on Decentralisation, in their 
Report of 1909, examined the whole question of Village 
Organisation, Rural Boards and Municipalities and recom- 
mended certain changes in their constitution, powers and func- 
tions. These recommendations were carefully considered by 
LORD HARDINGE'S Government who in their important Resolu- 
tion, dated the 28th April, 1915, recorded their opinion on those 



INTRODUCTION. Ixxv 

recommendations and declared their future policy regarding 
local self-government in this country. We summarise below 
the chief recommendations of the Commission and the opinion 
of the Government of India thereon. 

(1) The Commission recommended that Municipal Boards 
should ordinarily be constituted on the basis of a subs- 
tantial elective majority and that nominated members 
should be limited to a number sufficient to provide for 
the due representation of minorities and official 
experience. This recommendation has already been 
adopted in several provinces and is generally accepted 
by Local Governments and the Government of India, 
subject to the proviso that the principle should, in 
places where its success is doubtful, be introduced 
gradually, and after experiment in selected munici- 
palities. 

(2) The Commission proposed that the municipal chairman 
should usually be an elected non-official, that Govern- 
ment officers should not be allowed to stand for 
election, and that where a nominated chairman might 
still be required he should be an official. The Govern- 
ment of India are in full sympathy with this proposal ; 
but they recognise that the change must be made 
gradually, and that in the absence of suitable candi- 
dates, it may not be possible to make it finally and 
once for all in particular places. They agree with the 
opinion expressed in many quarters that discretion 
should be reserved to a Local Government to nominate 
a non-official as chairman. 

(3) The Commission suggested that some of the largest 
cities should adopt the system in force in Bombay 
city, where there is an elected chairman, who is the 
official mouthpiece of the Corporation as a whole, the 
executive administration, however, vesting in a full- 
time nominated official subject to the control of the 
Corporation and of a standing committee thereof. 
The Government of India, however, do not press for 
the adoption of this system in provinces where it may 
not be suited to the local conditions. 

(4) The Commission desired that sub-district boards 
should be universally established and that they should 



Ixxvi INTRODUCTION. 

be the principal agencies of rural boards administra- 
tion. They thought that these boards should have 
adequate funds and a large measure of independence, 
and that their jurisdiction should be so limited in area 
as to ensure local knowledge and interest on the part 
of the members, and be at the same time a unit well- 
known to the people. For this purpose they suggested 
the taluka or tahshil as a suitable unit. With regard 
to this proposal the Government of India accept the 
views of the several Local Governments in regard to 
their own provinces. 

(5) District and sub-district boards, in the opinion of the 
Commission, should contain a large preponderance of 
elected members, together with a nominated element 
sufficient to secure the due representation of minori- 
ties and of official experience. The Government of 
India are in sympathy with this proposal. 

(6) The Commission were of opinion that an official should 
remain, as he usually is at present, chairman of every 
district and sub-district board. The Government of 
India agree with this view, though they will have no 
objection to non-official chairmen being retained where 
such exist, or appointed where a local Government or 
Administration desires to make the experiment. 

(7) The Commission recommended the constitution and 
development of village panchayets possessed with cer- 
tain administrative powers, with jurisdiction in petty 
civil and criminal cases, and financed by a portion of 
the land cess, special grants, receipts from village 
cattle pounds and markets and small fees on civil suits. 
This proposal has been favorably received by the 
Government of India who have laid down some gene- 
ral principles indicating the lines on which advance is 
most likely to be successful. (See p. 463). 

(8) The Commission recommended that all the Presidency 
Corporations should be invested with the powers poss- 
essed by the Corporation of Bombay, and that the 
system of administration in force in that city, viz., that 
of a nominated official Commissioner in combination 
with an elected Chairman, should be extended to the 
other Presidency towns. They also considered that 
the same privileges should be conferred on the 



INTRODUCTION. Ixxvii 

Rangoon municipality in view of its population, the 
large future which lies before it, and the strength of its 
commercial community. The Government of India, 
in accepting in the main the recommendations of the 
local Governments, which will go far towards carry- 
ing out the proposals of the Commission, observe, as a 
general proposition, that in cities where there is a 
responsible public press and representation in the 
Provincial Councils, the case for entrusting large 
powers and extended freedom to the municipalities 
appears to be especially strong. 

On the whole LORD HARDINGE'S Government declare un- 
hesitatingly in favour of a general policy of further progress, 
limited only by such conditions as local circumstances may dic- 
tate. They hope, and we hope, too, that this declaration of 
policy may mark "a definite advance in devolution and political 
education." 



INDIAN 

CONSTITUTIONAL DOCUMENTS 

PART I. 

GENERAL DOCUMENTS, 

(1773-1858). 
I. THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773.* 

(13, Geo. 3, C 63). 

AN ACT FOR ESTABLISHING CERTAIN REGULATIONS 

FOR THE BETTER MANAGEMENT OF THE AFFAIRS OF THE 
EAST INDIA COMPANY, AS WELL IN INDIA AS IN EUROPE. 

"Whereas the several Powers and Authorities granted by 
charters to the United company of Mer- 
chants of England trading to the East 
Indies have been found, by Experience, not to have sufficient 
Force and Efficacy to prevent various Abuses which have pre- 
vailed in the Government and Administration of the Affairs of 
the said United Company, as well at Home as in India, to the 
manifest Injury of the Publick Credit, and of the commercial 
interests of the said company ; and it is therefore become 
highly expedient that certain further Regulations, better 
adapted to the'r present circumstances and condition, should 
be provided and established : And whereas the electing and 
chusing of Directors of the said United company every year, in 
such manner as at present prescribed by charter, has not ans- 
wered the good Purposes intended thereby, but, on the contrary, 
by limiting the Duration of their Office to so short a Time, evi- 
dently tends to weaken the Authority of the Court of Direc- 
tors, and to produce Instability in the Councils and Measures 
of the said Company :" May it therefore please your Majesty 
that it may be enacted ; and be it enacted by the King's most 

* This Act is commonly known as ''the Regulating Act," 



2 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773. 

Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the 
Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present 
Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, 
That etc. * * * 

7. And for the better management of the said United 
A Govemor.Generai Company's Affairs in India, be it further 
and four Counsellors to enacted by the authority aforesaid, that 
for the government of the Presidency of 
Fort William in Bengal, there shall be appointed a Governor- 
General, and four Counsellors ; 

and that the whole civil and military government of the 
m whom the whole said Presidency and also the ordering, 
civil and military management, and government, of all the 
Bn^rnd%rLsa e sha!i territorial acquisitions and revenues in the 
be vested. kingdoms of Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa 

shall, during such time as the territorial acquisitions and 
revenues shall remain in the possession of the said United 
Company, be, and are hereby vested in the said Governor- 
General and Council of the said Presidency of Fort William 
in Bengal, in like manner, to all intents and purposes whatsoever, 
as the same now are, or at any time heretofore might have 
been exercised by the President and Council or Select Com- 
mittee in the said kingdoms. 

8. And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that 

m case of difference "V, a11 case r s whatsoever wherein any 
of opinion, the decision difference of opinion shall arise upon any 
con t ciusive J ; OI and r in case question proposed in any consultation, the 
said Governor-General and Council shall be 
bound and concluded by the opinion and 
decision of the major part of those present : 
and if it shall happen that, by the death or removal, or by the 
absence, of any of the Members of the said Council, such 
Governor-General and Council shall happen to be equally 
divided ; then, and in every such case, the said Governor-General, 
or, in his absence, the eldest counsellor present, shall have a 
casting voice, and his opinion shall be decisive and conclusive. 

9. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, 

that the said Governor-General and Council, 
or the major part of them, shall have, and 
they are hereby authorised to have, power 
of superintending and controlling the government and manage- 
ment of the Presidencies of Madras, Bombay and Bencoolen 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773. 3 

respectively, so far and in so much as that it shall not be 
lawful for any President and Council of Madras, Bombay, 
or Bencoolen for the time being, to make any orders for 
commencing hostilities, or declaring or making war, against 
any Indian Princes or Powers, or for negotiating or concluding 
any treaty of peace, or other treaty, with any such Indian 
Princes or Powers, without the consent and approbation of the 
said Governor-General and Council first had and obtained, 
except in such cases of imminent necessity as would render it 
dangerous to postpone such hostilities or treaties until the 
orders from the Governor-General and Council might arrive ; 
and except in such cases where the said Presidents and 
Councils respectively shall have received special orders from 
the said United Company ; and any President and Council of 
Madras, Bombay, or Bencoolen, who shall offend in any of the 
cases aforesaid, shall be liable to be suspended from his or their 
office by the order of the said Governor-General and Council ; 
and every President and Council of Madras, Bombay, and 
Bencoolen for the time being, shall, and they are hereby respec- 
tively directed and required, to pay due obedience to such 
orders as they shall receive, touching the premises, from the 
said Governor-General and Council for the time being, and 
constantly and diligently to transmit to the said Governor- 
General and Council advice and intelligence of all transactions 
aud matters whatsoever that shall come to their knowledge, 
relating to the Government, Revenues or Interest, of the said 
United Company * * * * ; and the said Governor-General and 
Council for the time being shall, and they are hereby directed 
and required to pay due obedience to all such orders as they shall 
receive from the Court of Directors of the said United Company, 
and to correspond, from time to time, and constantly and 
diligently transmit to the said Court an exact particular of all 
advices or intelligence, and of all transactions and matters 
whatsoever, that shall come to their knowledge, relating to the 
government, commerce, revenues, or interest, of the said United 
Company ;****. 

10. And * * * * that Warren Hastings, Esquire, 
shall be the first Governor-General ; and 
Gov a enior-Qenerai and that Lieutenant-General John Clavering, 



con U t n in" or iA SiVfive the Honorable George Monson, Richard 

KSVSl&ffSSS-! 1 g arw ? n > u E *\ uire > and Phillip Francis 

Esquire shall be the four first Counsellors ; 

and they, and each of them, shall hold and continue in his 



4 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773. 

and their respective offices for and during the term of five years 
from the time of their arrival at Fort William in Bengal, and 
taking upon them the government of the said Presidency, and 
shall not be removeable in the meantime, except by His 
Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, upon representation made 
by the Court of Directors of the said United Company for 
the time being * * * * ; and from and after the expiration 
of the said term of five years, the power of nominating and 
removing the succeeding Governor-General and Council shall 
be vested in the Directors of the said United Company. 

13. And, whereas his late Majesty King George the Second 

did by his letters patent, bearing date at 

*ti%t3&X&. Westminster the eighth day of January, 

establish a supreme in the twenty-sixth year of his reign, grant 

Court of Judicature at ,, . , TT / , ^ r 

Fort wiliiam, etc. to unto the said United Company of mer- 

SdSUJ^jSS^ chants / England trading to the East 

Indies his royal charter, thereby amongst 

other things, constituting and establishing Courts of civil, 
criminal and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, at the said United 
Company's respective settlements at Madras-patnam, Bombay 
on the Island of Bombay, and Fort William in Bengal ; which 
said charter does not sufficiently provide for the due administra- 
tion of justice in such manner as the state and condition of the 
Company's Presidency of Fort William in Bengal, so long as 
the said Company shall continue in the possession of the terri- 
torial acquisitions before mentioned, do and must require ; be 
it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that it shall 
and may be lawful for His Majesty, by charter, or letters patent 
under the Great Seal of Great Britain, to erect and establish 
a Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William aforesaid, 
to consist of a Chief Justice and three other Judges, being Bar- 
risters in England or Ireland, of not less than five years' stand- 
ing, to be named from time to time by His Majesty, his Heirs and 
Successors ; which said Supreme Court of Judicature shall have, 
and the same Court is hereby declared to have, full power and 
authority to exercise and perform all civil, criminal, admiralty, 
and ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and to appoint such clerks and 
and other ministerial officers of the said Court, with such reason- 
able salaries, as shall be approved of by the said Governor- 
General and Council ; and to form and establish such rules 
of practice, and such rules for the process of the said Court, 
and to do all such other things as shall be found necessary for 
the administration of justice, and the due execution of all 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773. 5 

or any of the powers which, by the said charter, shall or may be 
granted and committed to the said Court ; and also shall be, at 
all times, a Court of Record, and shall be a Court of Oyer and 
Terminer and Gaol Delivery, in and for the said town of 
Calcutta, and factory of Fort William in Bengal aforesaid, and 
the limits thereof, and the factories subordinate thereto. 

14. Provided nevertheless, * * * that the said new charter 

which His Majesty is hereinbefore impower- 

Extent of the jurisdic- ed to grant, and the jurisdiction powers, 

Ma"es a ty^ p ?ira e r r t s er ; f "nd and authorities to be thereby established, 

j f ud?c e at s u u re reirte Court of sha11 and mSL Y extend to all British subjects 

who shall reside in the kingdoms or pro- 
vinces of Bengal, Behar and Orissa, or any of them, under the 
protection of the said United Company ; and the same charter 
shall be competent and effectual : and the Supreme Court of 
Judicature therein and thereby to be established, shall have full 
power and authority to hear and determine all complaints 
against any of his Majesty's subjects for any crimes, mis- 
demeanours or oppressions, committed or to be committed ; 
and also to entertain, hear and determine any suits or actions 
whatsoever against any of His Majesty's subjects in Bengal, 
Behar and Orissa, and any suit, action or complaint against 
any person who shall, at the time when such debt or cause 
of action or complaint shall have arisen, have been employed 
by or shall then have been, directly or indirectly, in the service 
of the said United Company, or of any of His Majesty's 
subjects. 

15. Provided also, that the said Court shall not be com- 

petent to hear, try or determine any in- 

JSryiSiSSSf^S> dictment or information against the said 
ments and informations Governor-General, or any of the said 

Council for the time being, for any offence 

(not being treason or felony) which such Governor-General, or 
any of the said Council, shall or may be charged with having 
committed in Bengal, Behar and Orissa. 

17. And it is hereby further enacted and provided, that 
nothing in this Act shall extend to subject 

ra! h CoX n eTc^ Ge no; the person of the Governor-General, or of 

fmprisUed 6 arrested or an y f tne said Council or Chief Justice 
and Judges respectively for the time being, 

to be arrested or imprisoned upon any action, suit or proceeding 

in the said Court. 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773. 

23. And * * * * no Governor-General, or any of the 
Council of the said United Company's 
Presidency of Fort William in Bengal or 
Sor e b P e cSic a e%eS r fn e ^ an 7 Chief Justice or any of the Judges of 
transaction by way of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort 
William aforesaid, shall, directly or in- 
directly, by themselves or by any other person, or persons, 
for his or their use or on his or their behalf accept, receive 
or take, of or from any person or persons, in any manner or 
on any account whatsoever, any present, gift, donation, gratuity, 
or reward, pecuniary or otherwise, or any promise or engage- 
ment for any present, gift, donation, gratuity, or reward ; and 
that no Governor-General, or any of the said Council, or any 
Chief Justice or Judge of the said Court, shall carry on, be 
concerned in, or have any dealing or transactions, by way of 
traffic or commerce of any kind whatsoever, either for his or 
their use or benefit, profit or advantage, or for the benefit or 
advantage of any other person or persons whatsoever, (the trade 
and commerce of the said Uuited Company only excepted) ; an 
usage or custom to the contrary thereof in any wise notwith- 
standing. 

36. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 
that it shall and may be lawful for the 
Governor-General and council of the said 
regulations as may appear United Company's settlement at Fort 

just ; which shall not be ITTMI- T i r 

valid until duly re= William in Bengal, from time to time, to 

gistered in the Supreme tim6j tQ make and issue such ruleS) Qrdi _ 

nances, and regulations for the good order 
and civil government of the said United Company's settlement 
at Fort William aforesaid, and other factories and places ser- 
bordinate or to be subordinate thereto, as shall be deemed just 
and reasonable, (such rules, ordinances, and regulations, not 
being repugnant to the laws of the realm), and to set, impose, 
inflict and levy, reasonable fines and forfeitures for the breach 
or non-observance of such rules, ordinances and regulations ; 
but nevertheless, the same or any of them, shall not be 
valid or of any force or effect, until the same shall be 
duly registered and published in the said Supreme Court 
of Judicature, which shall be, by the said new charter, 
established with the consent and approbation of the said 
Court, which registry shall not be made until the expiration of 
twenty days after the same shall be openly published, and a 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773. 7 

copy thereof affixed in some conspicuous part of the Court 
house or place where the said Supreme Court shall be held ; 
and from and immediately after such registry as aforesaid, the 
same shall be good and valid in law ; but, nevertheless, it shall 
be lawful for any person or persons in India to appeal therefrom 
to His Majesty, his Heirs or Successors, in 

Appeals may be made to _, m. i IT 

the King in council, who Council, who are hereby impowered, if 
they think fit, to set aside and repeal any 

such rules, ordinances, and regulations respectively, so as such 
appeal or notice thereof, be lodged in the said new Court of 
Judicature within the space of sixty days after the time of the 
registering and publishing the same ; * * * 

37. Provided always * * * * that the said Governor- 
General and Council shall, and they are 

Governor-General and 1 r *. . 

council to transmit hereby required, from time to time, to 
one^fthV^creJarie's^ transmit copies of all such rules, ordinan- 
Maj^yd^not^iy ces, and regulations as ; they shall ^ make 
bis disallowance of, shaii an d issue to one of His Majesty s principal 
Secretaries of State for the time being, and 
that it shall and may be lawful to and for His Majesty, 
his heirs and successors, from time to time, as they shall 
think necessary, to signify to the said United Company, 
under his or their sign manual, his or their disapprobation 
and disallowance of all such rules, ordinances and regula- 
tions ; and that from and immediately after the time that 
such disapprobation shall be duly registered and published in 
the said Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William in Bengal, 
all such rules, ordinances, and regulations shall be null and 
void ; but in case His Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, shall 
not, within the space of two years from the making of such rules, 
ordinances and regulations, signify his or their disapprobation 
or disallowance thereof, as aforesaid, that then, and in that case, 
all such rules, ordinances and regulations shall be valid and 
effectual, and have full force. 

39. And * * * if any Governor-General, President or 
Governor or Council of any of the said 

raV th pS!iuS!f rmQ 3S?. m Company's principal or other settlements 
sai mit may 0f be n tr e i 8 e'd 2nd in India > or the Chief Justice or any of the 

KSSft&rXJ!" Judges f th , e sa ,| d Su P rem .e Court of Judi- 
cature, to be by the said New Charter 

established or of any other Court in any of the said United Com- 
pany's settlements, or any other person, or persons who now are, 



8 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1773. 

or heretofore have been employed by or in the service of the 
said United Company, in any civil or military station, office, 
or capacity, or who have or claim, or heretofore have had or 
claimed any power or authority or jurisdiction by or from the 
said United Company, or any of His Majesty's subjects residing 
in India, shall commit any offence against this Act or shall have 
been or shall be guilty of any crime, misdemeanour or offence, 
committed against any of His Majesty's subjects, or any of the 
inhabitants of India, within their respective jurisdictions all such 
crimes, offences and misdemeanours may be respectively en- 
quired of, heard, tried and determined in His Majesty's Court 
of King's Bench, and all such persons so offending, and not 
having been before tried for the same offence in India, shall on 
conviction, in any such case as is not otherwise specially pro- 
vided for by this Act, be liable to such fine or corporal punish- 
ment as the said Court shall think fit ; and moreover shall be 
liable, at the discretion of the said Court, to be adjudged to be 
incapable of serving the said United Company in any office, civil 
or military ; and all and every such crimes, offences and 
misdemeanours as aforesaid, may be alleged to be committed, 
and may be laid, enquired of and tried, in the county of 
Middlesex. 

40. And whereas the provisions made by former laws for 

the hearing and determining in England 

c^nSlfSSSSSlSd offences committed in India have been 

informations laid, in the found ineffectual by reason of the difficulty 

King's Bench. r ,. . 7 T7 .. , . * 

of proving in this Kingdom matters done 
there ; be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that in 
all cases of indictments or informations laid or exhibited in the 
said Court of King's Bench for misdemeanours or offences 
committed in India, it shall and may be lawful for His 
Majesty's said Court upon motion to be made on behalf of the 
prosecutor or of the defendant or defendants, to award a writ or 
writs of mandamus, requiring the Chief Justice and Judges of 
the said Supreme Court of Judicature for the time being, or the 
Judges of the Mayor's Court at Madras, Bombay or Bencoolen, 
as the case may require, who are hereby respectively authorised 
and required, accordingly, to hold a Court, with all convenient 
speed for the examination of witnesses, and receiving other 
proofs concerning the matters charged in such indictments or 
informations respectively, and in the meantime, to cause such 
publick notice to be given of the holding the said court, and 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 9 

to issue such summons or other process, as may be requisite 
for the attendances of witnesses and of the agents or counsel of 
all or any of the parties respectively, and to adjourn from time 
to time as occasion may require j any such examination as 
aforesaid shall be then and there openly and publicly taken viva 
voce in the said Court, upon the respective oaths and witnesses, 
and the oaths of skilful interpreters, administered according to 
the forms of their several religions ; and shall, by some sworn 
officer of such Court, be reduced into one or more writing or 
writings on parchment, in case any duplicate or duplicates should 
be required by or on behalf of any of the parties interested, and 
shall be sent to His Majesty, in his Court of King's Bench, 
closed up and under the seals of two or more of the Judges of 
the said Court, and one or more of the said Judges shall deliver 
the same to the agent or agents of the party or parties requiring 
the same ; which said agent or agents (or in case of his or their 
death, the person into whose hands the same shall come), shall 
deliver the same to one of the clerks in court of His Majesty's 
Court of King's Bench in the public office, and make oath that 
he received the same from the hands of one or more of the 
Judges of such Court in India (or, if such agent be dead, in what 
manner the same came into his hands) ; and that the same has 
not been opened or altered since he so received it (which said 
oath such clerk in Court is hereby authorised and required to 
administer) ;***** 



II. THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784.* 

(24 Geo. Ill, Sess. 2, C. 25). 

A. 

AN ACT FOR THE BETTER REGULATION AND MANAGE- 
MENT OF THE AFFAIRS OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY, AND 
OF THE BRITISH POSSESSIONS IN INDIA; AND FOR ESTABLISH- 
ING A COURT OF JUDICATURE FOR THE MORE SPEEDY AND 
EFFECTUAL TRIAL OF PERSONS ACCUSED OF OFFENCE COM- 
MITTED IN THE EAST INDIES. 

'For the better Government and Security of the Territorial 
Possessions of this Kingdom in the East 
Indies,' be it enacted by the King's most 

* This Act is commonly known as " Pitt's Act of 1784." 
2 



10 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

Excellent Majesty, by and with the consent of the Lords 
Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parlia- 
ment assembled, and by the Authority of the same, 

That it shall and may be lawful to and for the King's 



His Majesty impowered Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, by any 
to appoint six privy Commission to be issued under the Great 
missix>ne rs 8 for theAffaSs Seal of Great Britain, to nominate and 
appoint such persons, not exceeding six in 
Number, as his Majesty shall think fit, being of His Majesty's 
most honourable Privy Council, of whom one of his Majesty's 
Principal Secretaries of State for the Time being, and Chancellor 
of the Exchequer for the Time being, shall be two, to be and 
who shall accordingly be Commissioners for the Affairs of 
India. 

2. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, 

that any Number, not less than Three of 
shaU tne said Commissioners, shall form a Board 
for executing the several Powers which 
by this or any other Act, shall be vested in the Commissioners 
aforesaid. 

3. And be it further enacted, that the said Secretary of 

State, and in his Absence, the said Chan- 
dJSt h 5hal! be Presi " cellor of the Exchequer, and, in the absence 

of both of them, the Senior of the said 

other Commissioners, according to his Rank in Seniority of 
Appointment, shall preside at, and be President of the said 
Board ; 

and that the said Commissioners shall have, and they are 
hereby invested with, the Superintendence 

8ion eTs. r80ftheCommis " and Control over all the British Territorial 
Possessions in the East Indies, and over 

the Affairs of the United Company of Merchants trading 

thereto, in Manner hereinafter directed. 

4. And be it further enacted, that in case the Members 

present at the said Board shall at any Time 
have the be equally divided in Opinion, in respect 

to any Matter depending before them, then, 
and in every such Case, the then President of the said Board 
shall have two Voices, or the casting Vote. 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. II 

5. And be it further enacted, that it shall and may be 

lawful for the King's Majesty, his Heirs 
vok'e" %&/* and Successors, from Time to Time, at his 
pleasure, and appoint an <j their Will and Pleasure, to revoke and 

new Commissioners. . . ~ . r . . 

determine the Commission aforesaid, and 
from Time to Time to cause any new Commission or Commis- 
sions to be sealed as aforesaid, for appointing any other Person 
or Persons, being of his Majesty's most Honourable Privy 
Council, of whom, one of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of 
State, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the Time being, 
shall always be two, to be Commissioners and Members of the 
said Board, when and so often as his Majesty, his Heirs or 
Successors, shall think fit, so that the Number of Commissioners 
therein to be named shall in no wise exceed the aforesaid 
number of Six. 

6. And be it further enacted, that the said Board shall be 
Government and Reve- full y authorized and impowered, from Time 

nues of the British Terri- to Time, to superintend, direct, and con- 

torial Possessions in , .. ' . r ^ ,. j /- 

India, subject to the con- troul, all Acts, Operations, and Concerns, 
which in any wise relate to the Civil or 
Military Government or Revenue of the British Territorial 
Possessions in the East Indies, in the Manner herein-after 
directed. 

7. And be it further enacted, that the said Secretary of 

State for the Time being shall nominate 

Secretaries &c. to . i o /-M i 

attend the Board, how to and appoint such Secretaries, Clerks, and 
be appointed and paid. other officers, as shall be necessary to 
attend upon the said Board, who shall be subject to Dismission 
at the Pleasure of the said Board ; and that all Proceedings 
whatsoever to be had by or before the said Board shall be 
entered in proper Books ; and that the said Secretaries, Clerks, 
and other Officers, shall be paid such Salaries as His Majesty 
shall, by Warrant under his Sign Manual, direct. 

'I A. B. do faithfully promise and swear, That, as a 

The oath Commissioner or Member of the Board 

for the Affairs of India, I will give my 

best Advice and Assistance for the good Government of the 

British Possessions in the East Indies ; and will execute the 

several Powers and Trusts reposed in me, according to the 

best of my Skill and Judgment, without Favour or Affection, 

Prejudice or Malice, to any Person whatsoever.' 



12 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

Which said Oath any Two of the Members of the said 
Board shall, and are hereby impowered to administer ; and 
the said Oath shall be entered by the said Secretary amongst 
the Acts of the Board, and be duly subscribed and attested 
by the Members thereof, at the Time of their taking and 
administering the same to each other respectively. 

10. And, for avoiding any Doubt which may arise, 
whether the Office or Place of a Commisioner of the said 
Board, for the affairs of India, or of a Secretary to the said 
Board, be within any of the Provisions contained in an Act 
of the sixth Year of the Reign of Queen Anne, intituled, An 
Act for the Security of her Majesty's Person and Government, 
and of the Succession of the Crown of Great Britain in the 
Protestant Line ; or whether the Appointment, of any such 
Commissioner or Secretary, being a Member or Members of the 
House of Commons, shall vacate his or their Seat or Seats 
in that House ; be it futher enacted and declared, 

That the said respective Offices, Places, or Appointments 
of a Commissioner, or of the Chief Secre- 
tary of the said Board for the Affairs of 

ff In . di *, tO be made Under the Authority of 
f tllis ^ Ct ' S ^ a ^ nOt be deemed O r taken to 

be within the Intent or Purview of the said 
Act of the sixth year of Queen Anne, whereby to disqualify 
any such Commissioner or Chief Secretary from being elected, 
or sitting or voting as a Member of the House of Commons ; 
nor shall the Appointment of any such Commissioner or Chief 
Secretary, if a Member or Members of the said House, vacate 
his or their Seat or Seats in the said House ; any Thing con- 
tained in the said Act of the sixth Year of Queen Anne, or in 
any other Act, to the contrary notwithstanding. 

11. And, to the Intent that the said Board may be duly 
informed of all Transactions of the said Company, in respect 
to the Management of their Concerns in the East Indies ; be it 
further enacted, 

That all the Members of the said Board shall, at all con- 
venient Times, have Access to all Papers 

BoaTd em to er have f access and Muniments of the said United Com- 
copie b s e of r rn any ed Pars pany, and shall be furnished with such 
belonging to the India Extracts or Copies thereof, as they shall 



Company 



from time to time require ; 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 13 

and that the Court of Directors of the said United Com- 
pany shall, and they are hereby required 

to d C eHv rt er to th^Boar" and directed, to deliver to the said Board, 
copies of aii Minutes, Copies of all Minutes, Orders, Resolutions, 

etc., of Courts of Pro- ,. c ,, ^ 

prietors, or Directors, and other Proceedings, of all General and 
Special Courts of Proprietors of the said 
Company, and of the said Court of 



orders received from the Directors, so far as relate to the Civil or 
Military Government or Revenues of the 

British Territorial Possessions in the East Indies, within eight 
Days after the holding of such respective Courts, and also 
Copies of all Dispatches which the said Directors, or any 
Committee of the said Directors, shall receive from any of their 
Servants in the East Indies immediately after the arrival thereof; 
and also Copies of all Letters, Orders, and Instructions whatso- 
ever, relating to the Civil or Military Government or Revenues 
of the British Territorial Possessions in the East Indies, pro- 
posed to be sent or dispatched, by the said Court of Directors, 
or any Committee of the said Directors, to any of the Servants 
of the said Company in the East Indies; and that the said 
Court of Directors of the said United Company shall, and they 
are hereby required to pay due Obedience to, and shall be 
governed and bound by, such Orders and Directions as they 
shall from Time to Time receive from the said Board, touching 
the Civil or Military Government and Revenues of the British 
Territorial Possessions in the East Indies. 

12. And be it further enacted that, within fourteen days 
after the Receipt of such Copies last- 
to S p ret2rn L e e d tte t r o 8> ?h C e mentioned, the said Board shall return the 
withi " u same to the said Court of Directors, with 
their Approbation thereof, subscribed by 
three of the Members of the said Board, or their Reasons at large 
for disapproving the same, together with Instructions from the 
said Board to the said Court of Directors in respect thereto ; 
and that the said Court of Directors shall thereupon dispatch 
and send the Letters, Orders, and Instructions so approved or 
amended, to their Servants in India, without further Delay, 
unless, on any Representation made by the said Directors to 
the said Board, the said Board shall direct any Alterations to 
be made in such Letters, Orders, or Instructions ; and no Letters, 
Orders, or Instructions, until after such previous Communication 
thereof to the said Board, shall at any time be sent or dispatch- 



14 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

ed by the said Court of Directors to the East Indies, on any 
Account or Pretence whatsoever. 

13. And, for the readier Dispatch of the Civil and Military 
clause relative to Concerns of the said United Company, 

sending Dispatches to be it further enacted, lhat whenever the 
Court of Directors of the said United Com- 
pany shall neglect to transmit to the said Board their intended 
Dispatches on any Subject, within fourteen Days after Requisi- 
tion made, it shall and may be lawful to and for the said Board 
to prepare and send to the Directors of the East India Company 
(without waiting for the Receipt of the Copies of Dispatches 
intended to be sent by the said Court of Directors as aforesaid) 
any Orders or Instructions to any of the Governments or 
Presidencies aforesaid, concerning the Civil or Military Govern- 
ment of the British Territories and Possessions in the East 
Indies ; and the said Directors shall, and they are hereby 
required to transmit Dispatches in the usual Form (pursuant to 
the Tenor of the said Orders and Instructions so transmitted 
to them) to the respective Governments and Presidencies in 
India, unless, on any Representation made by the said Directors 
of the said Board, touching such Orders or Instructions, the 
said Board shall direct any Alteration to be made in the same ; 
which Directions the said Court of Directors shall in such Case 
be bound to conform to. 

14. And be it further enacted, that in case the said 

Board shall send any Orders or Instructions 
onreceT^n g f orTe r r e s C f?o r m to the said Courts of Directors, to be by 
^^rti^Qov^rnmlnt tnem transmitted to India, which, in the 
and Revenues of the Opinion of the said Court of Directors, 
y r %pea? To 8Si0 his shall relate to Points not connected with 
Majesty in council. the Q^J or Miii tary Governments and 

Revenues of the said Territories and Possessions in India, then, 
and in any such Case, it shall be lawful for the said Court of 
Directors to apply, by Petition, to his Majesty in Council, 
touching such Orders and Instructions ; and his Majesty in 
Council shall decide whether the same be, or be not, connect- 
ed with the Civil or Military Government and Revenues of the 
said Territories and Possessions iu India ; which Decision shall 
be final and couclusive. 

15. Provided nevertheless, and be it further enacted, That 
if the said Board shall be of Opinion that the subject Matter 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 15 

of any of their Deliberations concerning the levying of War or 
making of Peace, or treating or negotiating 
with any of the Native Princes or States 
S sh r a e ii ^ India, shall require Secrecy, it shall and 

transmit their Orders to ma y be lawful for the said Board to send 

India agreeable thereto. /^. i j T *. ^ 

secret Orders and Instructions to the 

Secret Commitee of the said Court of Directors for the Time 
being, who shall thereupon, without disclosing the same, trans- 
mit rheir Orders and Dispatches in the usual Form, according 
to the Tenor of the said Orders and Instructions of the said 
Board, to the respective Governments and Presidencies iu India ; 
and that the said Governments and Presidencies shall pay a 
faithful Obedience to such Orders and Dispatches, and shall 
return their Answers to the same, sealed (under Cover) with 
their respective Seals, to the said Secret Committee, who shall 
forthwith communicate such Answers to the said Board. 

16. And be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, that it 
shall and may be lawful to and for the 
secre e t c cJmm?ttte. point * Court of Directors of the said United Com- 
pany for the Time being, and they are 

hereby required from Time to Time, to appoint a Secret Com- 
mittee, to consist of any Number of the said Directors for the 
Time being, not exceeding three ; 

which Secret Committee shall, from Time to Time, upon 

who are to transmit to the Receipt of any such secret Orders and 

the Governments in India Instructions concerning the Levying of 

Duplicates of such secret ,, 7 , . r TI "1- 

orders sent them from War or making of Peace, or treating or 
negotiating with any of the Native Princes 

or States of India, from the said Commissioners for the Affairs 
of India, as are hereinbefore mentioned, transmit to the 
respective Governments and Presidencies in India a Duplicate 
or Duplicates of such Orders and Instructions, together with 
Orders in Writing, signed by them, the Members of the said 
Secret Committee, to carry the same into Execution ; and to 
all such Orders and Instructions, so transmitted, the several 
Governments and Presidencies in India are hereby required to 
pay the same Obedience as if such Orders and Directions had 
been issued and transmitted by the Court of Directors of the 
said United Company. 

17. Provided also, and be it further enacted and declared, 
by the Authority aforesaid, That nothing in this Act contained 



16 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

shall extend to give unto the said Board the Power of nominat- 

The B..rd not,. a p. |"8 * ?j > Pf > ^? ? f the SMV ^f. f 

point any servants of the trie said United Company; any Thing 
company. herein contained to the contrary notwith- 

standing. 

1 8. And be it further enacted, That as soon as the Office 

The first Vacancy of a f ^ , ne f the Counsellors of the Presi- 

counseiior at Fort wii= dency of Fort William in Bengal (other 

Ham shall not be supplied ., -t r^ J r*\ r\ i 11 i 

by the Court of Direc- than the Commander in Chief) shall be- 
come vacant by Death, Removal, or Resig- 
natiou, the Vacancy so happening shall not be supplied by the 
said Court of Directors, but the said Supreme Government 
shall from thenceforward consist of a Governor General and 
three Supreme Counsellors only ; and that the Commander in 
Chief of the Company's Forces in India for the Time being, 
shall have Voice and Precedence in Council next after the said 
Governor General ; any Thing in any former Act of Parlia- 
ment contained to the contrary notwithstanding. 

19. And be it further enacted, That the Government of the 

several Presidencies and Settlements of 
a*V.S,{1! V port st? Fort Saint George and Bombay shall, after 
George, and Bombay. the Commencement of this Act, consist of 
a Governor or President, and three Counsellors only, of whom 
the Commander in Chief in the said several Settlements for the 
Time being shall be one, having the like Precedence in Council 
as in the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal, unless the 
Commander in Chief of the Company's Forces in India shall 
happen to be present in either of the said Settlements ; and in 
such Case the said Commander in Chief shall be one of the said 
Counsellors, instead of the Commander in Chief of such Settle- 
ment ; and that the said Commander in Chief of such Settle- 
ment shall during such Time have only a Seat but no Voice in 
the said Council. 

20. And be it further enacted, That the Court of Direc- 

tors of the said United Company shall, 
ap C p oinU of Goi7r C no r r8 anS within the Space of one Calendar Month 
f Fort next a ^ ter ^ e P assin g f tms Act, nomi- 
nate and appoint, from amongst the Ser- 
vants of the said Company in India, or any other Persons, a fit 
and proper Person to be the Governor of the said Presidency or 
Settlement of Fort Saint George, and two other fit and proper 
Persons from amongst the said Servants in India, who together 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. \J 

with the Commander-in-Chief at Fort Saint George for the 
Time being, shall be the Council of the same Presidency or 
Settlement ; and that the said Court of Directors shall also, 
in like manner, and within the Time aforesaid, nominate and 
appoint fit and proper Persons to be the Governor and Council 
of the said Presidency or Settlement of Bombay, under the 
same Restrictions as are herein-before provided in respect to 
the Governor or President and Council of Fort St. George. 

21. And be it further enacted, That in case the Members 

present at any of the Boards or Councils 

f F rt ? m > Fort Saint George, or 
Bombay, shall at any Time be equally 
divided in Opinion in respect to any Matter depending before 
them, then, and in every such Case, the said Governor General 
or the Governor or President, as the Case may be, shall have 
two Voices, or the casting Vote. 

22. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be 

lawful to and for the King's Majesty, his 
a dlr 8ty 'h b is ^sign Heirs and Successors, by any Writing or 
wrtting 'inder Instrument under his or their Sign Manual, 
their Hands, may recall countersigned by the said Secretary of 

any Governor-General, ~ . /, r T~\- V- , 

or other officer, from State, or for the Court of Directors of the 
said United Company for the Time being, 
by Writing under their Hands, to remove or recall the present 
or any future Governor General of Fort William in Bengal, or 
any of the Members of the Council of Fort William aforesaid, 
or any of the Governors or Presidents, and Members of the 
Councils, of the Presidencies or Settlements of Fort St. George 
and Bombay, or of any other British Settlements in India, or 
any other Person or Persons holding any Office, Employment, 
or Commission, Civil or Military, under the said United Com- 
pany at India, for the Time being ; and to vacate and make 
void all and every or any Appointment or Appointments of 
any Person or Persons to any of the Offices or Places aforesaid ; 
and that all and every the powers and Authorities of the 
respective Persons so removed or recalled, or whose Appoint- 
ment shall be so vacated, shall cease or determine at or from 
such respective Time or Times as in the said Writing or Writ- 
ings shall be expressed and directed : Provided always, That 
a Duplicate or Copy of every such Writing or Instrument, 
under his Majesty's Sign Manual, attested by the said Secre- 
tary of State for the Time being, shall, within eight days after 



IS THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

the same shall be signed by His Majesty, his Heirs or Succes- 
sors, be transmitted or delivered, by the said Secretary of State, 
unto the Chairman or Deputy Chairman for the Time being of 
the said United Company, to the Intent that the Court of Direc- 
tors of the said Company, may be apprized thereof. 

23. And be it further enacted, That whenever any 

Vacancy or Vacancies of the Office of 

How Vacancies of Offi- ^ J ^ , n -j c 

ces in India shall be sup- Governor General or President, or of any 
plied - Member of the Council, shall happen in 

any of the Presidencies aforesaid, either by Death, Resigna- 
tion, or Recall, as aforesaid, then and in such Case the Court of 
Directors of the said United Company shall proceed to nomi- 
nate and appoint a fit Person or Persons to supply such 
Vacancy or Vacancies from amongst their covenanted Servants 
in India, except to the Office of Governor General, or the Office 
of Governor or President of Fort Saint George or Bombay, or 
of any Commander in Chief, to which several Offices the said 
Court of Directors shall be at Liberty, if they shall think fit, to 
nominate and appoint any other Person or Persons respectively. 

24. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That the 

said Commanders in Chief, at each of the 
n5 a succced ln to C Vhe sa ^ Presidencies respectively, shall in no 

Office of Governor Gene. Case SUCCCed to the Office of Governor 
ral or President at rort ,-. . -,-> . 1 - -.-, TTTMI* 

wiiiiam, &c. unless spe- General or President of Fort William, 
functor?** For t Saint George, or of Bombay, unless 

thereunto specially appointed by the 
Court of Directors of the said United Company ; but that in 
case of the Vacancy of the said Offices of Governor General 
or President respectively, when no Person shall be specially 
appointed to succeed thereunto, the Counsellor next in Rank 
to such Commander in Chief shall succeed to such Office, and 
hold the same, until some other Person shall be appointed 
thereunto by the said Court of Directors. 

25. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That 
it Directors neglect wnen an< ^ so often as the Court of Directors 

to supply vacancies, his shall not, within the Space of two calendar 
Months, to be computed from the Day 
whereon the Notification of the Vacancy shall have been 
received by the said Court of Directors, proceed to supply the 
same, then and in any such Case, and so often as the same 
shall happen, it shall be lawful for his Majesty, his Heirs and 
Successors, to constitute and appoint by writing under his or 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 19 

their Royal Sign Manual (under the same Restrictions and 
Regulations as are herein-before provided, with respect to the 
Nominations and Appointments made by the said Court of 
Directors), such Person or Persons as his Majesty, his Heirs 
and Successors, shall think proper to succeed to and supply the 
respective Office or Place, Offices or Places, so vacant, or from 
which any Person or Persons shall be so recalled or removed, 
or whose Appointment or Appointments shall have been 
vacated and made void as aforesaid ; and that every Person 
or Persons, so constituted and appointed shall have and be 
invested with the same Powers, Privileges, and Authorities, as 
if he or they had been nominated and appointed by the said 
Court of Directors, and shall be subject to Recall only by the 
King's Majesty, his Heirs or Successors ; any thing herein- 
contained to the contrary notwithstanding. 

26 And be it further enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, 
That it shall and may be lawful to and 
for the Court of Directors of the said 
ior th a e en e f r f aif s or f * United Company, if they shall so think fit, 
dent, &c. o'f Fort st. subject to the like Limitations and Restric- 

George, or Bombay. . J 

tions as are herein-before enacted respect- 
ing the persons qualified to be appointed Members of the 
Government of the respective Settlements of the said United 
Company at Fort William, Fort Saint George, and Bombay, 
to appoint from Time to Time, fit and proper Persons to 
succeed, in case of Vacancy, to the several Offices of Governor 
General or President of Fort Saint George or Bombay, or 
Commander in Chief of the said Company's Forces at any of 
the said Settlements, or Member of any of the said Councils ; 
and such Appointments respectively at their Pleasure again to 
revoke ; but that no Person so appointed to succeed to any of 
the said Offices, in case of Vacancy, shall be entitled to any 
Salary, Advantage, or Allowance whatsoever, by reason of such 
Appointment, until such Persons respectively shall take upon 
themselves the Offices to which they shall so respectively have 
been appointed. 

27. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, 

Temporary Coun- That when and so often as the Number 

ciiiors HOW to be appoint- of Members of any of the said Councils of 

ed at Fort William, &c. ^ ITT-II- * c- z r* 

Fort William, Fort Saint George, or 
Bombay, shall by Death, or Absence, by reason of Sickness or 
otherwise, for fourteen Days be reduced to two, including the 



2O THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

the Governor-General or President of such Council, the Person 
who shall stand Senior in such provisional Appointment as is 
herein-before mentioned, or in case there shall be no such 
Appointment, then the senior Civil Servant of the said Company 
upon the Spot, shall be called to such Council, and shall have a 
Voice therein in like Manner as if he had been appointed there- 
unto by the Court of Directors of the said Company, and shall 
hold such Office in case the Vacancy shall have happened by 
Death, until a Successor thereunto shall be appointed by the said 
Court of Directors ; or if such Vacancy shall have happened by 
Absence or Sickness, until the Return or Recovery of such sick 
or absent Member ; and that all Persons so exercising the 
Office of a Counsellor at any of the said Presidencies shall be 
entitled, for the Time he shall so hold the same, to the like 
Advantages as if he had been thereunto permanently appointed 
by the said Court of Directors. 

29. And be it further enacted, That no Order or Resolu- 

orders, &c. of the tion of ar} Y General Court of the 

Court of Directors, Proprietors of the said United Company 

SSt r ?o e be by ret h okedby d a shall be available to revoke or rescind, or 

General Court. j n any respect to a ff ec t, any Act, Order, 

Resolution, Matter, or Proceeding, of the said Court of Directors, 
by this Act directed or authorized to be made or done by the 
said Court, after the same shall have been approved by the said 
Board, in the Manner herein-before directed ; any Law or Usage 
to the contrary notwithstanding. 

30. And be it further enacted, That so much and such 

Parts of an Act, made in the twenty-first 
' Year of the Rei g n of his P r esent Majesty, 
as directs the Court of Directors of the said 
United Company to deliver to the Commissioners of the 
Treasury, or to the High Treasurer for the Time being, or to one 
of his Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, Copies of any 
Letters or Orders relating to the Management of the Revenue, 
or the Civil and Military Affairs of the said Company ; and 
also all such Powers and Authorities given to or vested in the 
Proprietors and Directors of the said United Company, or in 
any General or Special Court thereof respectively, in and by any 
Act of Parliament or Charter, or are contrary or repugnant to 
this Act, or any Thing herein contained, shall be, and the same 
are hereby, repealed j any Thing contained in any Act or Charter, 
or any Custom or Usage to the contrary notwithstanding. 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 21 

31. And be it further enacted, That the Governor General 

and Council of Fort William aforesaid 
shall have Power and Authority to super- 

teethe? '"tend, COntrol > and dirCCt the Se ^ eral 

Governments belonging Presidencies and Governments now or here- 
after to be erected or established in the 

East Indies by the said United Company, in all such Points as 
relate to any Transactions with the Country Powers, or to War 
or Peace, or to the Application of the Revenues or Forces of 
such Presidencies and Settlements in Time of War, or any such 
other Points as shall, from Time to Time, be specially referred 
by the Court of Directors of the said Company to their Super- 
intendence and Controul. 

32. And, in order to prevent the Embarrassment and 

Difficulty which may arise from any Ques- 
ordersTssue'i 8 fS^Fort tion. whether the Orders or Instructions of 



Governments the other the Governor General and Council of Fort 
William relate to other Points than those 

aforesaid, be it further enacted, That notwithstanding any 

Doubt which may be entertained by the said Presidencies or 

Settlements to whom such Orders or Instructions shall be given, 

respecting the Power of the Governor General and Council to 

give such Orders, yet the said Presidencies or Settlements shall 

be bound to obey such Orders and Directions of the said 

Governor General and Council in all Cases whatever, except 

only where they shall have received positive Orders and Instruc- 

tions from the said Court of Directors, or from the Secret Com- 

mittee of the said Court of Directors, repugnant to the Orders 

and Instructions of the said Governor General and Council, and 

not known to the said Governor General and Council at the 

Time of dispatching their Orders and Instructions as aforesaid ; 

and the said Governor General and Council shall, at the Time 

of transmitting all such Orders and Instructions, transmit there- 

with the Dates of, and the Times of receiving, the last Dis- 

patches, Orders and Instructions which they have received from 

the Court of Directors, or from the Secret Committee on the 

said Court of Directors, or any of the Points contained therein : 

And the said Presidencies and Governments, in all Cases where 

they have received any Orders from the said Court of Directors, 

or from the Secret Committee of the said Court of Directors, as 

aforesaid, which they shall deem repugnant to the Orders of the 

said Governor General and Council at Fort William, and which 



22 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

were not known to the said Governor General and Council at 
the Time of dispatching their Orders and Instructions as afore- 
said, shall forthwith transmit Copies of the same, together with 
an Account of all Resolutions or Orders made by them in con- 
sequence thereof, to the Governor General and Council of Fort 
William, who shall, after the Receipt of the same, dispatch such 
further Orders and Instructions to the said Presidencies and 
Settlements as they may judge necessary thereupon. 

33. And be it further enacted, That the Governor General 

and Council of Fort William aforesaid, and 

the Di c e oni?dlratfon ctin o^ the several Presidents and Counsellors of 
ioSd?in fndfa 6 sevcral Fort Saint Geor g e and Bombay, shall, at 

their several and respective Boards and 

Councils, proceed, in the first Place, to the Consideration of 
such Questions and Business as shall be proposed by the said 
Governor General or Presidents respectively ; and when and so 
often as any Matter or Question shall be propounded at any of 
the said Boards or Councils, by any of the Counsellors thereof, 
it shall be competent to the said Governor General and Presi- 
dents respectively, to postpone or adjourn the Discussion of the 
Matter or Question so propounded to a future Day : Provided 
always, That no such Adjournment shall exceed forty-eight 
Hours, nor shall the Matter or Question so proposed be adjourn- 
ed more than twice, without the Consent of the Counsellor who 
originally proposed the same. 

34. And whereas, to pursue Schemes of Conquest and 

Extension of Dominion in India, are 
&c.^? v p e o r r n t or wiiHlm er n a it Measures repugnant to the Wish, the 
Honour, and Policy of the Nation ; be it 



authorized by the Direc- therefore further enacted by the Authority 

tors (Exception.) c . , ~. . . / i i r ^ r 

aforesaid, That it shall not be lawful for 
the Governor General and Council of Fort William aforesaid, 
without the express Command and Authority of the said Court 
of Directors, or of the Secret Committee of the said Court of 
Directors, in any Case, except where Hostilities have actually 
been commenced, or Preparations actually made for the 
Commencement of Hostilities, against the British Nation in 
India, or against some of the Princes or States dependent 
thereon, or whose Territories the said United Company shall 
be at such Time engaged by any subsisting Treaty to defend 
or guaranty, either to declare War or commence Hostilities, 
or enter into any Treaty for making War, against any of the 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 23 

Country Princes or States in India, or any Treaty for guaranty- 
ing the Possessions of any Country Princes or States ; and that 
in such Case it shall not be lawful for the said Governor 
General and Council to declare War or commence Hostilities, 
or enter into Treaty for making War, against any other Prince 
or State than such as shall be actually committing Hostilities, 
or making Preparations as aforesaid, or to make such Treaty 
for guarantying the Possessions of any Prince or State, but 
upon the Consideration of such Prince or State actually engag- 
ing to assist the Company against such Hostilities commenced, 
or Preparations made as aforesaid ; and in all Cases where 
Hostilities shall be commenced, or Treaty made, the said 
Governor General and Council shall, by the most expeditious 
Means they can devise, communicate the same unto the said 
Court of Directors, together with a full State of the Information 
and Intelligence upon which they shall have commenced such 
Hostilities, or made such Treaties, and their Motives and 
Reasons for the same at large. 

35. And be it further enacted, That it shall not be lawful 

NO Governor or *" or the Governors or Presidents, and 
President^ &c.,^of_any Counsellors, of Fort Saint George and 
Bombay, or of any other subordinate 
Settlement respectively, to make or issue 
unless by Order of ittie any Order for commencing Hostilities, or 

Governor General, &c., * . , T7 * . * , 

of Fort William, or the levying War, or to negotiate or conclude 
any Treaty of Peace, or other Treaty, with 
any Indian Prince or State (except in Cases of sudden 
Emergency or imminent Danger, when it shall appear Danger- 
ous to postpone such Hostilities or Treaty), unless in pursuance 
of express Orders from the said Governor General and Council 
of Fort William aforesaid, or from the said Court of Directors, 
or from the Secret Committee of the said Court of Directors ; 
and every such Treaty shall, if possible, contain a Clause for 
subjecting the same to the Ratification or Rejection of the 
Governor General and Council of Fort William aforesaid : 
And the said Presidents and Counsellors of the said 
Presidencies and Settlements of Fort Saint George and Bombay, 
or other subordinate Settlement, are hereby required to 
yield due Obedience to all such Orders as they shall from 
Time to Time respectively receive from the said Governor 
General and Council of Fort William aforesaid, concerning the 
Premises. 



24 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

36. And be it further enacted, That all and singular the 
said Presidents and Counsellors who shall 
dent S s Ub a r n d d na couns P eifo S J; wilfully refuse to pay due Obedience to 
?tt b 7?A t ^o7e?7o r such Orders and Instructions as they shall 
General, &c., may be receive from the said Governor General 
and Council of Fort William as aforesaid, 
shall be liable to be suspended from the Exercise of their 
respective Offices or Powers, by Order of the said Governor 
General and Council of Fort William ; and all and every of 
them are hereby further required, constantly and diligently to 
transmit to the said Governor General and Council of Fort 
William aforesaid, true and exact Copies of all Orders, Resolu- 
tions, and Acts in Council, of their respective Governments, 
presidencies, and Councils, and also Advice and Intelligence 
of all Transactions and Matters which shall come to their 
Knowledge, material to be communicated to the Governor 
General and Council of Fort William aforesaid, or which the 
said Governor General and Council shall from Time to Time 
require. 

44. And be it further enacted, That all his Majesty's 
British subjects Subject 8 ' as well Servants of the said 

amenable to Justice for United Company as others, shall be, and 
are hereby declared to be, amenable to all 
Courts of Justice (both in India and Great Britain) of competent 
Jurisdiction to try Offences committed in India, for all Acts, 
Injuries, Wrongs, Oppressions, Trespasses, Misdemeanors, 
Crimes, and Offences whatsoever, by them or any of them done, 
or to be done or committed, in any of the Lands or Territories of 
any Native Prince or State, or against their Persons or Proper- 
ties, or the Persons or Properties of any of their Subjects or 
People, in the same Manner as if the same had been done or 
committed within the Territories directly subject to and under 
the British Government in India. 

45. And be it further enacted, That the demanding or 
Receiving of Presents receiving of any Sum of Money O r other 

to be deemed Extortion, valuable Thing, as a Gift or Present, or 
under Colour thereof, whether it be for the 
Use of the Party receiving the same, or for, or pretended to be 
for, the Use of the said Company, or of any other Person 
whomsoever, by any British Subject holding or exercising any 
Office or Employment under his Majesty, or the said United 
Company in the East Indies, shall be deemed and taken to be 



THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 25 

Extortion, and shall be proceeded against and punished as such, 
under and by virtue of this Act ; and the Offender shall also 
forfeit to the King's Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, the 
whole Gift or Present so received, or the full Value thereof. 

46. Provided always, and be it further enacted, that the 
Court of Jurisdiction before whom every 
such off ence shall be tried, shall have full 
Power and Authority to direct the said 
Present or Gift, or the value thereof, to be restored to the party 
who gave the same, or to order the whole, or any part thereof, 
or of any fine which the Court shall set on the offender, to be 
paid or given to the prosecutor or Informer, as such Court in its 
Discretion shall think fit. 

48. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing 
herein contained shall extend, or be cons- 
Counseiiors, Physu trued to extend, to prohibit or prevent any 
f P ee s. u Person exercising the Profession of Coun- 
sellor at Law, Physician, or Surgeon, or 
any Chaplain, from accepting, taking, or receiving Fees, Gratui- 
ties, or Rewards, (bona fide}> in the way of his Profession only. 

51. And be it further enacted, That after Sentence or 

Judgment of any Court having competent 

disiSfsTe^by any co v mpe= Jurisdiction, whether in Great Britain or 

rSrtored. urt ' not to be in India , against any of the said United 

Company's Servants, Civil or Military, for 

any Debt or Penalty due or belonging to the said United 
Company, or for any Extortion or other Misdemeanor, it shall 
not be lawful for the said United Company, upon any Pretence 
whatsoever, to release or compound such Sentence or Judg- 
ment, or to restore any Servant or Servants of the said Com- 
pany, who shall have been removed or dismissed from his or 
their Office or Employment, for or on account of Misbehaviour, 
by the Sentence of any of the said Courts. 

53. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be 
lawful for the Governor General of Fort 
William aforesaid for the Time being, to 



his warrant for securing: issue his Warrant under his Hand and 

any Person suspected of ~ . ,. , A ~ r ,, 

carrying O n illicit cor- Seal, directed to such Peace Officers and 



and other Persons as he shall think fit, for 
securing and detaining in Custody any 
Person or Persons suspected of carrying on, mediately or 
immediately, any illicit Correspondence, dangerous to the 



26 THE EAST INDIA COMPANY ACT, 1784. 

Peace or Safety of the Settlement, or of the British Possessions 
in India, with any of the Princes, Rajahs, Zemindars, or other 
Person or Persons whomsoever having Authority in India, or 
with the Commanders, Governors, or Presidents of any Fac- 
tories established in the East Indies by any European Power, 
contrary to the Rules and Orders of the said Company, or of 
Governor General and Council of Fort William aforesaid ; and 
if, upon Examination, taken upon Oath, in Writing, of any 
Person or Persons (other than the Person so secured and 
detained) before the Governor General and Council of Fort 
William aforesaid, there shall appear reasonable Grounds for the 
Charge, the said Governor General shall be, and is hereby 
authorized and impowered to commit such Person or Persons 
above described to safe Custody, and shall within a reasonable 
Time, not exceeding five Days, cause to be delivered to him 
or them the Charge or Accusation on which he has or they 
have been committed ; and the party so confined shall be per- 
mitted to deliver in his Defence in Writing, together with a 
List of such Witnesses as he shall desire to be examined in 
Support of his Defence, who shall be examined accord- 
ingly in his Presence, and their Examinations taken down in 
Writing ; 

and if, notwithstanding such Defence, there shall appear 
to the said Governor General and Council 

caniotexcJipateh^msli^ reasonable Grounds for the former Pro- 
fo e dy h ti!iT r r e i?r. in !n C " 8 " Ceding, and for continuing the Confine- 
ment, the Party shall remain in Custody 
until he or they shall be brought to Trial in India, or sent to 
England for that Purpose ; and that all such Examinations and 
Proceedings shall be transmitted to the said Court of Directors 
by the first Dispatches ; and in case such Person or Persons 
are to be sent to England, the said Governor General shall, and 
he is hereby required to cause such Person or Persons to be 
sent by the first convenient Opportunity, unless such Person or 
Persons shall be disabled by Illness from undertaking the 
Voyage. 

54. And be it further enacted, That the several Presi- 
dencies and Governments of Fort Saint 
sain P t re8id G?oJ"e f ^d George and Bombay, shall have the like 
powe 1 ^ to have 8imilar Powers, and subject to the same Regula- 
tions and Restrictions, to secure and detain 
Persons suspected of any such illicit Correspondence as afore- 



PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 27 

said, within their respective Presidencies and Settlements, as 
are hereby given to the said Governor General and Council of 
Fort William. 



B. 

EXTRACTS FROM MR. PITT'S SPEECH ON THE 

BILL FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. 

July 6, 1784. 

In pursuance of the notice he had given, MR. CHANCELLOR 
PlTT rose to open his new system for the Government of 
India. No one, he said, could be more deeply impressed 
than he was with the importance of the subject on which 
he was then going to enter : in whatever point of view he 
considered it, he felt that no subject could possibly be more 
interesting. In it were involved the prosperity and strength of 
this country ; the happiness of the natives of those valuable 
territories in India which belonged to England ; and finally the 
constitution of England itself. India had at all times been of 
great consequence to this country, from the resources of 
opulence and strength it afforded : and that consequence had, 
of course, increased in proportion to the losses sustained by the 
dismemberment of other great possessions, by which losses, the 
limits of the empire being more contracted, the remaining 
territories became more valuable. He was aware that nothing 
could be more difficult than to digest a plan, which should at 
once confirm and enlarge the advantages derived to this 
country from its connexion with India, to render that con- 
nexion a blessing to the native Indians, and at the same time 
preserve inviolate the essence and spirit of our own constitution 
from the injuries to which this connexion might eventually 
expose it. Gentlemen would recollect with a degree of horror, 
to what dangers that happy constitution was exposed last year, 
when a bill was introduced into Parliament which would have 
established a system dangerous to everything that Englishmen 
held dear ; they would recollect, that the liberties of this country 
had nearly suffered shipwreck : the danger, however, was 
happily over ; and the legislature had now an opportunity to 
consult about the means the most likely to reconcile and secure 



28 PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 

the interests of the people of this country, of the people of 
India, and of the British constitution, as far as it might be 
effected by the connexion with India. To his lot fell the 
arduous task of proposing to the House a plan which should 
answer all these great purposes. He was aware that no plan 
could be devised, to which some objections would not lie : he 
was aware that it was not possible to devise a plan that 
should be free from imperfections ; he should therefore console 
himself if he should be able to suggest the means of doing 
the most good to India, and to the East India Company, with 
the least injury to our constitution. In the arrangements that 
he should propose, it would be impossible to proceed, without 
giving to some body of men an accession of power ; but it 
was his duty to vest it where he should have reason to think 
it would be least liable to abuse, at the same time that it 
should be sufficient, and not more than sufficient, for all the 
puposes for which it should be given ; sufficient to secure to 
this country the wealth arising from the commerce of the Com- 
pany ; to the inhabitants of Hindoostan peace and tranquillity ; 
and to enfore obedience on the part of the servants of the 
Company, to the orders that should be sent to them from home. 
In framing such a system, he thought it his duty never to lose 
sight of this principle that though no charter could or ought 
to supersede state necessity, still nothing but absolute necessity 
could justify a departure from charters. He admitted that 
charters ought not to stand in the way of the general good and 
safety of the country ; he admitted that no charter ought to be 
suffered to stand in the way of a reform, on which the being 
or welfare of the country depended, but at the same time he 
contended, that a charter ought never to be invaded, except 
when the public safety called for its alteration : charters were 
sacred things, on them depended the property, franchises, and 
every thing that was dear to Englishmen ; and wantonly, to 
invade them, would be to unhinge the constitution, and throw 
the state into anarchy and confusion. 

With respect to the India Company, its affairs were not 
in a state that called for a revocation of the charter ; the neces- 
sity which would justify a revocation did not exist in this case ; 
and he felt no small degree of satisfaction in the assurance, that 
at the moment when he had to propose such measures for the 
government of India, and the conduct of the affairs of the East 
India Company, as to his judgment appeared most applicable, 



PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 29 

there no longer existed any danger of the best and most sacred 
rights of Englishmen being made a sacrifice to the ambitious 
projects of those who, under the necessity that actually existed 
had taken the desperate resolution, that nothing short of mea- 
sures of the most decisive and extreme nature, and measures 
far exceeding the necessity of the case, could be effectual. He 
thanked God so great a sacrifice had been escaped ; and he 
trusted that the sense plainly and incontrovertibly declared 
to be entertained upon the subject by the majority of the 
people of England, would prove to be the sense of the majority 
of that House ; and that they would join with him in opinion, 
that although it must on all hands be admitted that there did 
exist a great and urgent necessity for the interference of the 
legislature with regard to the East India Company and the 
future government of India, yet that neither state policy nor 
common prudence called for the legislature's proceeding be- 
yond the limit of the existing necessity, much less of going the 
length either of destroying the rights of any individuals or 
bodies of men, established upon the most sacred of all founda- 
tions, the express words of solemn charters recognized and 
confirmed by repeated acts of Parliament, or of directly chang- 
ing the constitution of the country, and departing from those 
known principles of government which the wisdom of our an- 
cestors had provided, and which had proved for ages the 
uninterrupted source of security to the liberties of Englishmen. 
It was, he said, to be acknowledged on all hands, that no 
rights of any body of men, however confessed to be rights of 
the most sacred sort, could supersede state necessity. To that 
and that alone, they must give way ; but then it ought ever to 
be a rule of conduct with those to whose lot it fell to act under 
such a necessity, to take care that they do not exceed it. No- 
thing but such a necessity could warrant any government in 
proceeding to do what must be an unwelcome task for all who 
had any concern in its execution ; but when they found them- 
selves obliged to discharge a duty of that irksome nature, they 
ought to proceed warily, and with all possible tenderness and 
regard for those with whose rights they felt themselves obliged 
to interfere ; and to be assured, that in endeavouring to do all 
that their duty required, they did not unnecessarily tear up by 
the roots and annihilate those rights that were of essential 
consideration, and ought not to have been touched, because the 
exigency of the case did not actually require it. And though 
on a former occasion he had been derided, when he comforted 



30 PITTS SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 

himself with the idea, that, in every departure he should propose 
from the charter, he should have the consent and concurrence 
of the Company, he still continued to find great consolation 
in the reflection, that he did no violence to the Company ; for 
no violence could be said to be done by regulations, to every 
one of which the Company most cheerfully consented. 

He did not find it necessary to create any system abso- 
lutely new for the government of our territories in India ; he 
should rather endeavour to improve on the system by which 
those territories were governed at present. The great consi- 
derations to be looked to in the regulation of the government 
of India were threefold the commerce of this country with 
that, and consequently the resources we derived from it ; the 
interests of the inhabitants there ; and the connexion that 
the management of both had with our own constitution. Great 
inconvenience must, under the best possible devised form of 
government, necessarily arise from the circumstance of any 
country deriving a considerable part of her resources from a 
dependency at so great a distance ; and this must also add to 
the extreme difficulty of governing India from home, because 
that distance must necessarily prevent the government at home, 
and those who filled the executive offices in India, from acting 
with equal views. For this reason he must repeat what he 
had before taken the liberty to state, when the subject had 
been under the consideration of the last Parliament, that as 
no plan of government for India that human wisdom could 
suggest, was capable of perfection, so he was far from pre- 
suming to think that the plan he should propose would not 
occasion much difference of opinion, and be liable to a variety 
of objections. He could only with great humility submit that 
plan to the judgment of Parliament, which from the maturest 
consideration, he had been able to select as the most practicable 
and the most consonant to the present constitution ; conscious 
at the same time, that it was impossible for him with so many 
different subjects to attend to, to have found leisure to do 
justice to a matter of sufficient importance to engross the atten- 
tion of any man whose mind had been vacant and unoccupied 
by other objects. To proceed however to the business to be 
stated, he observed, that it could not be denied, that in every 
project of government of India there must be an accession of 
influence somewhere, which it became that House and the 
people in general always to regard with extreme jealousy. 



PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 31 

That influence, for obvious reasons, should not be left at home, 
but might with greater safety be trusted abroad in India, 
where the executive power must be lodged ; as every man must 
see the necessity of having a government active on the spot, 
yet not independent of this country, but so constituted as to 
secure obedience to the system of measures dictated from home, 
while at the same time it was capable of preventing extortion 
in India, and frustrating the improper views of ambition and 
despotism. The channel of commerce, he said, must be our 
guide, as to our future expectations from our connexion with 
India, since we ought to look to the management of our manu- 
factures there, which must chiefly depend on the establishment 
of the happiness of the inhabitants, and their being secured in 
a state of peace and tranquillity. In order to effect this, he 
declared it would be necessary to give the government abroad 
a certain degree of power, subject only to the control of a 
board, to be appointed at home, of the nature that he had 
mentioned, when he had proposed a Bill upon the same sub- 
ject to the last Parliament. He observed, that in the present 
consideration there were mixed interests to be regarded as well 
as mixed objects. Government and commerce were the two 
great objects to be looked to, while the interest of the East 
India Company, and the interest of the country, called for their 
most serious attention. The commerce of the Company ex- 
clusively belonged to them ; nor was it till the territorial 
acquisitions of the Company became considerable, that the 
public claimed any participation in the advantages arising from 
the resources of those acquisitions, in the obtainment of which 
they had borne so large a share. The commerce to and from 
India, therefore, he meant to leave, where it ought to be left, in 
the management of the Company. 

It had, he remarked, been ever held, that commercial 
companies could not govern empires ; but that was a matter 
of speculation, which general experience proved to be not true 
in practice, however universally admitted in theory. The East 
India Company had conducted its commerce, and governed 
a vast empire for years, and it was to be remembered that the 
Easjt India Company was no new establishment ; it rested on 
charters and acts of Parliament ; those charters ought un- 
doubtedly to be regarded, and as far as possible, the rights 
exercised and enjoyed under them ought to be held sacred. 
But as he had before observed, there were no rights, that by 



32 PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 

accident or time became fatal to the interests of the public or to 
the safety of the state, which must not be touched. The matter 
was, how to connect the constitution of the Company with the 
national interests : from that regard and attention to chartered 
rights which he ever should profess, and which every man 
ought to practise, he had been led rather to consider, whether 
it was not possible to model the old constitution of the Company, 
so as to make it answer every view of the state, and every in- 
terest of the public, rather than to make a new one ; not 
thinking it necessary to confiscate, annihilate, and destroy, 
where the purpose could be attained without proceeding to 
any such violent lengths. 

In the measures to be taken for the future government of 
India, if they had the Company's concurrence, it would surely be 
admitted that they took the safest line ; that they had pursued 
the wisest course ; and the measures he should propose, were 
such as the Company agreed to. The control he had mention- 
ed ought undoubtedly to remain where the constitution had 
placed all power, in the executive government of the country. 
The management of the commerce he meant to leave with the 
Company. The patronage should be separate from the executive 
government, but be it given where it would, he should propose 
regulations that would essentially curtail and diminish it, so as 
to render it as little dangerous as possible. The patronage, how- 
ever, he would trust with no political set of men whatever. Let 
it be in India, it would be free from corruption then ; and when 
exercised under the restrictions and limitations he should 
propose, could, he flattered himself, be attended with no bad 
consequences. 

He enlarged upon these points considerably ; and then 
said, from what he had stated, the House would doubtless ob- 
serve, that the Bill he meant to move for leave to bring in, was 
not different from former Bills that he had stated to the House. 
The great point of it, as far as he had opened it, was the ap- 
pointment of a separate department of Board of Control, to whom 
all dispatches should be transmitted, and who should be res- 
ponsible for what they did, and for what they did not do ; who 
should blink nothing, who should be obliged to act upon every 
question that came before them, who should not shew any 
indulgence or partiality, or be guilty of procrastination ; who 
should not have the plea of other business, or in fine, on any 
pretence, or in any other way whatever, put off or delay the 



PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 33 

duties of their offices. This institution, though certainly new, 
was not charged with new duties ; because the same powers of 
control had been given to the Secretaries of State by various 
acts of Parliament, but unfortunately they had never been exer- 
cised, having been suffered to remain dormant. He wished, 
therefore, to put it out of the power of that degree of laziness 
natural to office, any longer to defeat the public interest, by the 
institution of a board necessarily active and efficient. He was 
aware that many persons, who in general disliked, as much as 
he had done, the violence of the measures proposed in another 
Bill, approved the idea of making the board of commissioners, 
to be instituted under the authority of that Bill, permanent 
He was not of this opinion ; sure he was, that the permanency 
of such a board as that Bill proposed to institute, would have 
added to the mischiefs of it. Such a board would have been 
in itself a deviation from the principles of the constitution, and 
its permanency would have involved it in contradictions to the 
executive government that must have been attended with great 
public inconvenience. An institution to control the govern- 
ment of India must be either totally independent of the execu- 
tive government of this country, or it must be subordinate to it, 
Ought the administration of the day to have no connexion with 
what was going on ? Let it be remembered that a permanent 
board might be hostile to those who held the government at the 
time ; a view of it, which, he trusted, would sufficiently prove, 
that an actual independent permanency in any such board 
would be an evil. The existing government ought to be, to a 
degree, permanent ; but the Indian department must not be 
independent of that : he meant, therefore, to give it a ground 
of dependence, upon which all the various departments had a 
natural and legitimate dependency ; viz. upon the executive 
government. Every government that had no other object than 
the public good, that was conscious of acting upon no other 
principles than such as were perfectly constitutional, that was 
swayed by no motives of a personal, an interested, or an 
ambitious nature, but which possessed a sufficient share of the 
confidence of the sovereign, of Parliament, and of the people 
at large, would, from its conduct, be permanent ; and the Indian 
government would be so of course. Having said this, he ani- 
madverted on the danger of once departing from the constitu- 
tion, by appointing such a commission as the Bill that had 
passed that House, but which had been rejected by the Lords 
in the last Parliament, authorized. He remarked, if the practice 



34 PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 

once obtained, there was no saying to what extent it might be 
carried, or how often the precedent might be multiplied : ad- 
mitting it to pass in the instance of the late Bill, they might 
have proceeded to separate and tear away all the departments 
from the crown, and put them one after another into so many 
Parliamentary commissions. 

With regard to the objections that had been started, and 
the reasons that had been urged to prove that the Company's 
directors ought not to be excluded from an insight of the 
papers of the commissioners, he was willing so far to give way 
to the arguments of that nature, as to permit the court of direc- 
tors to see the papers of the commissioners ; but they were to 
have no power of objecting : the decision of the commissioners 
must be final and binding upon the directors. He meant also 
to invest the commissioners with a power to originate measures, 
as well as to revise, correct, alter, and control those of the 
Company : but with regard to such measures as the commis- 
sioners originated, the Company were to be obliged to carry 
them into execution. This, he observed, took nothing from the 
Company ; since, in fact, it was nothing more than the power 
to put a negative on their measures, and the power of altering 
them, acting in another way. With respect to the appointment 
of the commissioners, he said, it was meant to be the same as 
that of persons holding great offices, viz., at the nomination of 
the crown. It was intended that the board should consist of none 
but privy counsellors ; but the board should create no increase 
of officers, nor impose any new burthens, since he trusted there 
could be found persons enough who held offices of large emo- 
lument, but no great employment, whose leisure would amply 
allow of their undertaking the duty in question. And this 
circumstance, he observed, would have a good effect for the 
future, in rendering it necessary for ministers, when, by way of 
providing for their families, they appointed to offices hitherto 
considered as sinecures, to have some other consideration of 
the ability of the person about to be appointed to fill it ; a con- 
sideration that could not but occasion the description of offices 
to which he was alluding, to be well filled for the future. The 
principal powers of this board, he recapitulated, would consist 
in directing what political objects the Company's servants were 
to pursue, and in recalling such as did not pay obedience to 
such directions, or be able to give very satisfactory reasons to 
shew that circumstances rendered disobedience a virtue. The 



PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 35 

board would be strictly a board of control : it would have no 
power to appoint, nor any patronage ; consequently it could 
have no motive to deviate from its duty. 

Thus much, the House would see, related solely to the 
government at home. With regard to the government abroad 
the first and leading ideas would be to limit the subsisting 
patronage, and to produce a unity of system, by investing the 
supreme government to be seated in Bengal, with an effectual 
control over every other presidency, and by investing that 
supreme government with executive power, and with the dis- 
position of offices in India ; but to make it a matter less 
invidious, and to prevent the possibility of abuse, gradation and 
succession should be established as the invariable rule, except 
in very extraordinary cases : with a view to which, there must 
be lodged in the supreme government, as in every other execu- 
tive power, a discretion, which every man must see was actually 
necessary to be vested in an executive power, acting at such an 
extreme distance from the seat of the supreme government of 
all, but which was nevertheless to be subject to the control of 
the board of superintendency to be established here at home, 
whose orders in this, as in every other case, the government of 
India must obey. Though Bengal was designed to be the 
supreme government, it was not to be the source of influence : 
that being as much as possible guarded against by the regula- 
tions designed to make a part of the Bill. The officers of the 
government of Bengal were intended to be left to the nomination 
of the court of directors, subject to the negative of the crown j 
and the court of directors were to have the nomination of the 
officers of all the subordinate governments, excepting only of the 
commander-in-chief, who, for various reasons, would remain to be 
appointed by the crown. He said, it might possibly be argued, 
that if the crown nominated the commander-in-chief, and had a 
negative upon the rest of the appointments, all the patronage 
remained in the hands of government at home. This, however, 
was far from being the case ; the patronage of great appoint- 
ments not being the sort of patronage for the public to entertain 
a jealousy about, and the other patronage being diffused and 
placed in Bengal, the influence from it was considerably 
weakened and diminished ; add to this, all officers going by 
gradation and succession, would be a forcible check upon the 
patronage, and tend greatly to its reduction. 

Having discussed this matter very fully, MR. PITT proceeded 



36 PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 

to state, that much would depend on the manner of administer- 
ing the government in India, and that his endeavours should 
be directed to enforce clear and simple principles, as those from 
which alone a good government could arise. The first and 
principal object would be to take care to prevent the govern- 
ment from being ambitious and bent on conquest. Propensities 
of that nature had already involved India in great expenses, 
and cost much bloodshed. These, therefore, ought most 
studiously to be avoided. Commerce was our object, and with 
a view to its extension, a pacific system should prevail, and a 
system of defence and conciliation. The government there 
ought, therefore, in an especial manner to avoid wars, or enter- 
ing into alliances likely to create wars. At the same time that 
he said this, he did not mean to carry the idea so far as to 
suggest, that the British government in India was not to pay a 
due regard to self-defence, to guard against sudden hostilities 
from the neighbouring powers, and, whenever there was reason 
to expect an attack, to be in a state of preparation. This was 
undoubtedly and indispensably necessary ; but whenever such 
circumstances occurred, the executive power in India was not 
to content itself with acting there, as the nature of the case 
might require ; it was also to send immediate advice home of 
what had happened, what measures had been taken in con- 
sequence of it, and of what farther measures were intended to 
be pursued. He mentioned also the institution of a tribunal 
to take cognizance of such matters, and state how far such a 
tribunal should be empowered to act without instructions from 
home. He next said, that the situation of the Indian princes, 
in connexion with our government, and of the number of 
individuals living immediately under our government, were 
objects that ought to be the subject of an inquiry. The debts 
due from one Indian prince to another, over whom we had any 
influence, such as the claims of the NABOB OF ARGOT upon the 
RAJA OF TANJORE, ought undoubtedly to be settled on a per- 
manent footing : this, and the debts of the natives tributary 
to us, ought also to be the subjects of inquiry. Another object 
of investigation, and an object of considerable delicacy, was 
the pretensions and titles of the landholders to the lands at 
present in their possession : in the adjustment of this particular, 
much caution must be adopted, and means found that would 
answer the end of substantial justice, without going the length 
of rigid right, because he was convinced, and every man at all 
conversant with Indian affairs must be convinced, that indis- 



PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 3? 

criminate restitution would be as bad as indiscriminate confisca- 
tion. Another very material regulation, or rather principle of 
reform, from which solid hopes of providing a surplus adequate 
to the debt in India might be drawn, was, the retrenchment 
of our establishments in that country. At present it was a 
well-known fact, that all our establishments there were very 
considerably overcharged ; at any rate, therefore, there must be 
no augmentation suffered ; and in order to prevent the possibility 
of such an improvident measure, a return of all the establish- 
ments must be called for. With regard to the means of reducing 
them, they ought to be laid before Parliament, and submitted to 
the determination of both Houses. Every intended increase of 
the establishment ought also to be submitted to Parliament, and 
the Company to be immediately restrained from sending out 
any more inferior servants. He stated that it would be 
necessary, by proper provisos, to compel the execution of these 
points : and the better to guard against the continuance of that 
rapacity, plunder, and extortion, which was shocking to the 
feelings of humanity, and disgraceful to the national character, 
he proposed to render the Company's servants responsible for 
what they did in every part of India, and to declare it illegal 
and punishable, if they, on any pretence whatever, accepted 
sums of money, or other valuables, from the natives. This 
would, he hoped, tend effectually to check private corruption. 
There were, he was aware, a certain species of presents, so much 
a part of the ceremonies inseparable from the manner of the 
East, that an attempt to direct that they should not be received, 
would be utterly impracticable ; but even as much as possible 
to guard against any bad consequences resulting from the 
continuance of the practice in question, he meant that the Bill 
should oblige the Company's servants in India to keep an 
exact and faithful register of all such presents. 

With regard to those of the Company's servants who did 
not comply with the directions the Bill would hold out to them, 
and to such other directions as should, under the sanction and 
authority of the Bill, be transmitted to them from home, such 
persons should be considered as guilty of offences punishable 
in the degrees stated in the Bill, which should contain a special 
exception of those guilty of disobedience of orders and other 
crimes, which from their consequences being of a most fatal 
tendency, must be punished with great severity. In respect to 
this part of his subject, the House, he had no doubt, would go 



38 PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 

along with him in feeling the necessity, and at the same time 
the extreme difficulty, of providing a proper tribunal, before 
which persons charged with offences committed in India should 
be tried. He owned he had an extreme partiality to the present 
system of distributing justice in this country, so much so, that 
he could not bring himself for a moment to think seriously 
upon the idea of departing from that system, without the 
utmost reluctance : without mentioning names, however, or 
referring to recent instances, every man must acknowledge, 
that at present we had it not in our power to do justice to the 
delinquents of India, after their return home. The insufficiency 
of Parliamentary prosecutions was but too obvious ; the necessity 
for the institution of some other process was therefore undeni- 
able. A summary way of proceeding was what had struck 
him, and, he believed, others who had thought much upon 
the subject, as most advisable : the danger, however, was the 
example that must arise from any deviation from the established 
forms of trials in this country, it being perhaps the first, the 
dearest, and the most essential consideration in the mind of 
every Englishman, that he held his property and his person in 
perfect security, from the wise, moderate, and liberal spirit of 
our laws. Much was to be said with respect to the case in 
point : either a new process must be instituted, or offences 
equally shocking to humanity, opposite to justice, and contrary 
to every principle of religion and morality, must continue to 
prevail unchecked, uncontrolled, and unrestrained. The neces- 
sity of the case outweighed the risk and the hazard of the 
innovation, and when it was considered that those who might 
go to India hereafter, would know the danger of transgressing 
before they left England, he trusted it would be admitted that 
the expedient ought to be tried. Should such a law pass, 
every man who should go to India in future, would, by so doing, 
consent to stand in the particular predicament in which the 
particular law placed him ; and in thus agreeing to give up some 
of the most essential privileges of his country, he would do no 
more than a very numerous and honourable body of men did 
daily, without the smallest impeachment of their characters, 
or the purity of the motives that impelled their conduct. 

MR. PITT suggested loosely what his idea of the summary 
species of trial he meant to authorize was. He said, there 
must be an exception to the general rules of law ; the trials 
must be held by special commission ; the court must not be 



PITT'S SPEECH ON THE INDIA BILL. 39 

tied down to strict rules of evidence ; but they must be upon 
their oaths to give judgment conscientiously, and pronounce 
such judgment as the common law would warrant, if the 
evidence would reach it. Much, he was aware, would depend 
on the constitution of the court. His design, therefore, was, 
that it should be composed of men of known talents, unim- 
peached character, and high consequence ; that their impartiality 
should be farther secured by their election being by ballot ; 
and that a certain number out of the whole nominated should 
make a court, in order that there might exist the chance of a 
choice by ballot. The persons to be balloted for, should be 
some of them from among the judges, some members of the 
House of Lords, and some members of that House. Such a 
mixed assemblage, from the very first characters in the kingdom, 
would leave no room for suspicion, or possible impeachment of 
justice ; and in order still more strongly to fortify the subject 
against injustice, they should not be chosen till the hour of 
trial, and should then be all sworn. To effect the purposes of 
the institution of such a tribunal, they should be empowered 
to take depositions, and receive information, communicated by 
witnesses who were in India when the delinquent was stated 
to have committed the offences he might stand charged with ; 
and farther, they should be judges both of the law and the 
fact. With regard to the punishments, they should be governed 
by the punishments the law, as it stood, authorized in case of 
misdemeanor, viz., fine and imprisonment ; but the extent of 
these should rest in the discretion of the court, to apportion 
according to their opinion of the proved enormity of the 
crime ; and as a farther means of rendering such a tribunal 
awful, and of giving effect to its plans for preventing the 
perpetration of crimes shocking to humanity, it should be 
armed with the power of examining the parties charged as 
delinquents, by interrogatories as to the value of their effects, 
in order the better to be able to govern the quantum of the 
fine to be levied in case of conviction ; it should also be armed 
with the power of examining the amount of any man's pro- 
perty on his arrival in England from India ; and since purity 
and abstinence were the objects which every man must desire 
should characterize the conduct of their countrymen in Asia, 
the Company should not have it in their power to employ any 
one of their servants convicted of a misdemeanor while he had 
been in India, nor should any person be suffered to return to 
that country after his stay in this beyond a certain limited 



40 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

period. MR. PITT interspersed his notification of the different 
principles and regulations which his intended Bill went to 
establish, with a variety of illustrations and arguments, and 
concluded with moving, "That leave be given to bring in a Bill 
for the better regulation and management of the East India 
Company, and of the possessions in India." 



III. THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

(3 and 4 Will. IV, C. 85.) 
A. 

AN ACT FOR EFFECTING AN ARRANGEMENT WITH THE 
EAST INDIA COMPANY, AND FOR THE BETTER GOVERNMENT 
OF HIS MAJESTY'S INDIAN TERRITORIES, TILL THE THIRTIETH 
DAY OF APRIL ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY- 
FOUR. 

19. And be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for 

His Majesty by any Letters Patent or by 

His Majesty may ap= any Commission or Commissions to be 

fhelifa^llidir f r issued under the Great Seal of Great 

Britain from Time to Time to nominate, 
constitute, and appoint, during Pleasure, such persons as His 
Majesty shall think fit to be, and who shall accordingly be and 
be styled Commissioners for the affairs of India ; and every 
Enactment, Provision, Matter, and Thing relating to the 
Commissioners for the affairs of India in any other Act or Acts 
contained, so far as the same are in force and not repealed by 
or repugnant to this Act, shall be deemed and taken to be 
applicable to the Commissioners to be nominated as aforesaid. 

20. And be it enacted, That the Lord President of the 

Council, the Lord Privy Seal, the First 
.ione"rs f . ficl Commls ' Lord of the Treasury, the Principal Secre- 
taries of State, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer for the time being shall, by virtue of their res- 
pective Offices, be and they are hereby declared to be Com- 
missioners for the Affairs of India, in conjunction with the 
Persons to be nominated in any such Commission as aforesaid, 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 4! 

and they shall have the same Powers respectively as if they 
had been expressly nominated in such Commission, in the 
Order in which they are herein mentioned, next after the Com- 
missioner first named therein. 

21. And be it enacted, That any Two or more of the 

said Commissioners shall and may form a 
TWO commissioners Board for executing the several Powers 

may form a Board ; Who U-UI_AI-A^I_ 1.1 A 

shall be President. which, by this Act, or by any other Act or 

Acts, are or shall be given to or vested in 

the Commissioners for the Affairs of India ; and that the Com- 
missioner first named in any such Letters patent or Commis- 
sion, for the Time being, shall be the President of the said 
Board ; and that when any Board shall be formed in the 
Absence of the President, the Commissioner next in order of 
nomination in this Act or in the said Commission, of those 
who shall be present, shall for that Turn preside at the said 
Board. 

22. And be it enacted, That if the Commissioners present 

at any Board shall be equally divided in 
casng 8 vote! tohavethe Opinion with respect to any matter by 

them discussed, then and on every such 
occasion the President, or in his Absence the Commissioner 
acting as such, shall have Two Voices or the casting Vote. 

25. And be it enacted, That the said Board shall have and 

be invested with full Power and Authority 

The Board to control to superintend, direct, and control all 

and% C ne C s aTe Ce o r f ni pr g oi n e?t?: Acts, Operations, and Concerns of the 

said Company which in anywise relate to 

or concern the Government or Revenues of the said Territories, 
or the Property hereby vested in the said Company in Trust as 
aforesaid, and all Grants of Salaries, Gratuities, and Allowances, 
and all other Payments and Charges whatever, out of or upon 
the said Revenues and Property respectively, except as herein- 
after is mentioned. 

35. And be it enacted, That the said Court of Directors 
shall from Time to Time appoint a Secret 
Directors to appoint Committee, to consist of any Number not 
sh^uak C e o m aTh Utee ' who exceeding Three of the said Directors, for 
the particular purposes in this Act speci- 
fied ; which said Directors so appointed shall, before they or 
any of them shall act in the Execution of the Powers and 
Trusts hereby reposed in them, take an Oath of the Tenor 

6 



42 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

following ; (that is to say\ "I (A. B.) do swear, That I will, 
according to the best of my Skill and Judgment, faithfully 
execute the several Trusts and Powers reposed in me as a 
Member of the Secret Committee appointed by the Court of 
Directors of the India Company ; I will not disclose or make 
known any of the secret orders, Instructions, Dispatches, 
Official Letters or Communications which shall be sent or 
given to me by the Commissioners for the Affairs of India, 
save only to the other Members of the said Secret Committee, 
or to the Person or Persons who shall be duly nominated and 
employed in transcribing or preparing the same respectively, 
unless I shall be authorized by the said Commissioners to 
disclose and make known the same. So help me God." 

Which said Oath shall and may be administered by the 
several and respective Members of the said Secret Committee 
to each other ; and, being so by them taken and subscribed, 
shall be recorded by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of 
the said Court of Directors for the Time being amongst the 
Acts of the said Court. 

36. Provided also, and be it enacted, That if the said 

Board shall be of opinion that the Sub- 

opin(on th tha?aSy d mae?l ject Matter of any of their Deliberations 

3SISSS&2SSK concerning the levying War or making 

tions through Secret Peace, or treating or negotiating with any 

committee. r .. ' AT ,. ~ 9 & R r ,. * 

of the Native Princes or States in India, or 
with any other Princes or States, or touching the Policy to 
be observed with respect to such Princes or States, intended to 
be communicated in Orders, Dispatches, Official Letters or 
Communications, to any of the Governments or Presidencies 
in India, or to any Officers or Servants of the said Company, 
shall be of a nature to require Secrecy, it shall and may be 
lawful for the said Board to send their Orders, Dispatches, 
Official Letters or Communications, to the Secret Committee 
of the said Court of Directors to be appointed as is by this 
Act directed, who shall thereupon, without disclosing the same, 
transmit the same according to the Tenor thereof, or pursuant 
to the Directions of the said Board, to the respective Govern- 
ments and Presidencies, Officers and Servants ; and that the 
said Governments and Presidencies, Officers and Servants shall 
be bound to pay a faithful Obedience thereto, in like Manner 
as if such Orders, Dispatches, Official Letters or Communica- 
tions had been sent to them by the said Court of Directors. 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 43 

38. And be it enacted, That the Territories now subject 

to the Government of the Presidency of 
wiiH r am id in n B y en?Iitob r e Fort William in Bengal shall be divided 
dlcia?e'thl h i e imu s ur from into Two distinct Presidencies, one of such 
time to time of the presidencies, in which shall be included 

several Presidencies. TTT-H- r i i_ L i i *i 

Fort William aforesaid, to be styled the 
Presidency of Fort William in Bengal, and the other of such 
Presidencies to be styled the Presidency of Agra ; and that it 
shall be lawful for the said Court of Directors, under the control 
by this Act provided, and they are hereby required, to declare 
and appoint what Part or Parts of any of the Territories under 
the Government of said Company shall from Time to Time be 
subject to the Government of each of the several Presidencies 
now subsisting or to be established as aforesaid, and from Time 
to Time, as Occasion may require, to revoke and alter, in the 
whole or in part, such Appointment, and such new Distribution 
of the same as shall be deemed expedient. 

39. And be it enacted, That the Superintendence, Direction, 

and Control of the whole Civil and Mili- 

' ' ' ; lia ' tary Government of all the said Territories 

and Revenues in India shall be and is hereby vested in a 

Governor General and Counsellors, to be styled "The Governor 

General of India in Council." 

40. And be it enacted, That there shall be Four Ordinary 

Members of the said Council, Three of 
; whom shall from Time to Time be appoint- 
ed by the said Court of Directors from amongst such Persons 
as shall be or shall have been Servants of the said Company ; 
and each of the said Three Ordinary Members of Council shall 
at the Time of his appointment have been in the service of the 
said Company for at least Ten Years ; and if he shall be in the 
Military Service of the said Company, he shall not during his 
Continuance in Office as a Member of Council hold any Mili- 
tary Command, or be employed in actual Military Duties ; and 
that the Fourth Ordinary Member of Council shall from Time 
to Time be appointed from amongst Persons who shall not be 
Servants of the said Company by the said Court of Directors, 
subject to the Approbation of His Majesty, to be signified in 
Writing by His Royal Sign Manual, countersigned by the 
President of the said Board ; provided that such last-mentioned 
Member of Council shall not be entitled to sit or vote in the 
said Council except at Meetings thereof for making Laws and 



44 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

Regulations ; and it shall be lawful for the said Court of 
Directors to appoint the Commander-in-chief of the Company's 
Forces in India, and if there shall be no such Commander-in- 
chief, or the Offices of such Commander-in-chief and of 
Governor General of India shall be vested in the same Person, 
then the Commander-in-chief of the Forces on the Bengal 
Establishment, to be an Extraordinary Member of the said 
Council, and such Extraordinary Member of Council shall have 
Rank and Precedence at the Council Board next after the 
Governor-General. 

41. And be it enacted, That the Person who shall be 

Governor-General of the Presidency of 
Governor etc. on aand Fort William in Bengal on the Twenty - 
fs^ct? second Day of April one thousand eight 

hundred and thirty-four shall be the First 
Governor-General of India under this Act, and such Persons as 
shall be Members of Council of the same Presidency on that 
Day shall be respectively Members of the Council constituted 
by this Act. 

42. And be it enacted, That all vacancies happening in 

the Office of Governor General of India 

thes^oHi^s!* 03110168 in sha11 f rom Time to Time be fi } led U P b 7 
the said Court of Directors, subject to the 

Approbation of His Majesty, to be signified in Writing by His 
Royal Sign Manual, countersigned by the President of the 
said Board. 

43. And be it enacted, That the said Governor General in 

Council shall have Power to make Laws 
in T c h olSc nYr p r owe e "ed r t a o and Regulations for repealing, amending, 
legislate for India, ex- or altering any Laws or Regulations what- 

cept as to matters herein . r r . \ r 

mentioned. ever now in force or hereafter to be in force 

in the said Territories or any Part thereof, 
and to make Laws and Regulations for all Persons, whether 
British or Native, Foreigners or others, and for all Courts of 
Justice, whether established by His Majesty's Charters or other- 
wise, and the Jurisdictions thereof, and for all Places and Things 
whatsoever within and throughout the whole and every Part of 
the said Territories, and for all Servants of the said Company 
within the Dominions of Princes and States in alliance with the 
said Company ; save and except that the said Governer General 
in Council shall not have the power of making any Laws or 
Regulations which shall in any way repeal, vary, suspend, or 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 45 

affect any of the Provisions of this Act, or any of the Provi- 
sions of the Acts for punishing Mutiny and Desertion of 
Officers and Soldiers, whether in the Service of His Majesty or 
the said Company, or any Provisions of any Act hereafter to be 
passed in anywise affecting the said Company or the said Terri- 
tories or the Inhabitants thereof, or any Laws or Regulations 
which shall in any way affect any Prerogative of the Crown, or 
the Authority of Parliament, or the constitution or Rights of the 
said Company, or any Part of the unwritten Laws or Constitu- 
tion of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland where- 
on may depend in any Degree the Allegiance of any Person to 
the Crown of the United Kingdom, or the Sovereignty or 
Dominion of the said Crown over any Part of the said 
Territories. 

44. Provided always, and be it enacted, That in case the 
said Court of Directors, under such Control 
as by this Act is provided, shall signify to 



Governor General in the said Governor General in Council their 

Council to repeal them. 

Disallowance of any Laws or Regulations 
by the said Governor General in Council made, then and in 
every such Case, upon Receipt by the said Governor General in 
Council of Notice of such Disallowance, the said Governor 
General in Council shall forthwith repeal all Laws and Regula- 
tions so disallowed. 

45. Provided also, and be it enacted, That all Laws and 

Regulations made as aforesaid, so long as 
{o w b s e a o-f d the they shall remain unrepealed, shall be of 

Act f the same Force and Effect within and 
throughout the said Territories as any Act 
of Parliament would or ought to be within the same Territories, 
and shall be taken notice of by all Courts of Justice whatsoever 
within the same Territories, in the same Manner as any Public 
Act of Parliament would and ought to be taken notice of ; and 
it shall not be necessary to register or publish in any Court of 
Justice any Laws or Regulations made by the said Governor 
General in Council. 

46. Provided also, and be it enacted, That it shall not be 

Restricting the power lawful , for the said Governor General in 
of punishing with death Council, without the previous Sanction of 

European subjects, etc. .1 -i /^> r T-V i 

the said Court of Directors, to make any 
Law or Regulation whereby Power shall be given to any Courts 
of Justice, other than the Courts of Justice established by His 



46 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

Majesty's Charters, to sentence to the Punishment of Death any 
of His Majesty's natural-born Subjects born in Europe, or the 
Children of such Subjects, or which shall abolish any of the 
Courts of Justice established by His Majesty's Charters. 

47. And be it enacted, That the said Court of Directors 
shall forthwith submit, for the Approbation 
of the said Board, such Rules as they shall 
deem expedient for the Procedure of the 



parffameJt laid before Governor General in Council in the Dis 
charge and Exercise of all Powers, Func- 
tions, and Duties imposed on or vested in him by virtue of this 
Act, or to be imposed or vested in him by any other Act or 
Acts ; which Rules shall prescribe the Modes of Promulgation 
of any Laws or Regulations to be made by the said Governor 
General in Council, and of the Authentication of all Acts and 
Proceedings whatsoever of the said Governor General in Council ; 
and such Rules, when approved by the said Board of Commis- 
sioners, shall be of the same Force as if they had been inserted 
in this Act : Provided always, that such Rules shall be laid 
before both Houses of Parliament in the Session next after the 
Approval thereof. 

48. Provided always, and be it enacted, That all Laws and 
quorum of Governor Regulations shall be made at some Meeting 

General and Members in of the Council at which the said Governor 
General and at least Three of the Ordinary 
Members of Council shall be assembled, and that all other 
Functions of the said Governor General in Council may be 
exercised by the said Governor General and One or more 
Ordinary Member or Members of Council, and that in every 
Case of Difference of Opinion at Meetings of the said Council 
where there shall be an Equality of Voices the said Governor 
General shall have Two Votes or the casting Vote. 

49. Provided always, and be it enacted, That when and so 

often as any Measure shall be proposed 
m p e?s c u e r e e din if before the said Governor General in Council, 
Ma whereby the safety, Tranquillity or Interests 
aected be e8sentiall y of the British Possessions in India, or any 
Part thereof, are or may be, in the Judg- 
ment of the said Governor General, essentially affected, and the 
said Governor General shall be of opinion either that the 
Measure so proposed ought to be adopted or carried into 
execution, or that the same ought to be suspended or wholly 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 47 

rejected, and the Majority in Council then present shall differ 
in and dissent from such Opinion, the said Governor-General 
and Members of Council are hereby directed forthwith mutually 
to exchange with and communicate to each other in writing 
under their respective Hands, to be recorded at large on their 
Secret Consultations, the Grounds and Reasons of their respec- 
tive Opinions ; and if after considering the same the said 
Governor-General and the Majority in Council shall still differ 
in Opinion, it shall be lawful for the said Governor General, 
of his own Authority and on his own Responsibility, to 
suspend or reject the Measure so proposed in part or in 
whole, or to adopt and carry the Measure so proposed into 
Execution, as the said Governor General shall think fit and 
expedient. 

50. And be it enacted, That the said Council shall from 

Time to Time assemble at such Place or 
Places as sha11 be appointed by the said 
Governor General in Council within the 
said Territories, and that as often as the said Council shall 
assemble within any of the Presidencies of Fort St. George, 
Bombay, or Agra, the Governor of such Presidency shall act as 
an Extraordinary Member of Council. 

51. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing 
Act not to affect the nerein contained shall extend to affect in 

right of Parliament to any way the Right of Parliament to make 

legislate for India. Ex- T J i . ., & .. _, 

press reservation, Laws, JLaws ior the said 1 erntories and for all 
parliament. la the Inhabitants thereof; and it is expressly 

declared that a full, complete, and cons- 
tantly existing Right and Power is intended to be reserved to 
Parliament to control, supersede, or prevent all Proceedings and 
Acts whatsoever of the said Governor General in Council, and 
to repeal and alter at any Time any Law or Regulation what- 
soever made by the said Governor General in Council, and 
in all respects to legislate for the said Territories and all the 
inhabitants thereof in as full and ample a Manner as if this Act 
had not been passed : and the better to enable Parliament to 
exercise at all Times such Right and Power, all Laws and 
Regulations made by the said Governor General in Council 
shall be transmitted to England, and laid before both Houses of 
Parliament, in the same Manner as is now by Law provided 
concerning the Rules and Regulations made by the several 
Governments in India. 



48 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

52. And be it enacted, That all Enactments, Provisions, 

Matters, and Things relating to the Gover- 

ting Al tr a t t hT n s t up?e nor General of Fort William in Bengal in 

*?$S!Str t Q3L. t Council, and the Governor General of Fort 

William in Bengal alone, respectively, in 

any other Act or Acts contained, so far as the same are now in 

force, and not repealed by or repugnant to the Provisions of 

this Act, shall continue and be in force and be applicable to 

the Governor General of India in Council, and to the Governor 

General of India alone, respectively. 

56. And be it enacted, That the Executive Government 

of each of the several Presidencies of Fort 

JXZSZSSSSSSZ William in Bengal, Fort Saint George 
to be administered by Bombay, and Agra shall be administered 

a Governor and tbree v /- j TM r* -11 u 

Councillors. by a (jrovernor and 1 nree Councillors, to be 

styled the "The Governor in Council of the 
said Presidencies of Fort William in Bengal, Fort Saint George, 
Bombay, and Agra, respectively ;" and the said Governor and 
Councillors respectively of each such Presidency shall have the 
same Rights and Voices in their Assemblies, and shall observe 
the same Order and Course in their Proceedings, as the 
Governors in Council of the Presidencies of Fort Saint George 
and Bombay now have and observe, and that the Governor 
General of India for the Time being shall be Governor of the 
Presidency of Fort William in Bengal. 

57. Provided always, and be it enacted, That it shall and 

may be lawful for the said Court of Direc- 
tors, under such Control as is by this Act 
provided, to revoke and suspend, so often 
and for such Periods as the said Court shall 
in that behalf direct, the Appointment of Councils in all or any 
of the said Presidencies, or to reduce the Number of Councillors 
in all or any of the said Councils, and during such Time as a 
Council shall not be appointed in any such Presidency the 
Executive Government thereof shall be administered by a 
Governor alone. 

58. And be it enacted, That the several Persons who on 

the said Twenty-second Day of April one 
nd Bombay! thousand eight hundred and thirty-four 
Sn Preside^ sha11 ^ Governors of the respective Presi- 
court be * illed P b y dencies of Fort Saint George and Bombay, 
shall be the first Governors of the said 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 49 

Presidencies respectively under this Act ; and that the Office of 
Governor of the said Presidency of Agra, and all vacancies 
happening in the Offices of the Governors of the said Presi- 
dencies respectively, shall be filled up by the said Court of 
Directors, subject to the Approbation of His Majesty, to be 
signified under His Royal Sign Manual, countersigned by the 
said President of the said Board of Commissioners. 

59. And be it enacted, That in the Presidencies in which 
the Appointment of a Council shall be 
pr P esid e en S ciL C ! overnor8of suspended under the Provision herein- 
before contained, and during such Time as 
Councils shall not be appointed therein respectively, the 
Governors appointed under this Act, and in the Presidencies in 
which Councils shall from Time to Time be appointed the said 
Governors in their respective Councils, shall have all the 
Rights, Powers, Duties, Functions, and Immunities whatsoever, 
not in anywise repugnant to this Act, which the Governors of 
Fort Saint George and Bombay in their respective Councils now 
have within their respective Presidencies ; and that the Governors 
and Members of Council of Presidencies appointed by or under 
this Act shall severally have all the Rights, Powers, and Im- 
munities respectively, not in anywise repugnant to this Act, 
which the Governors and Members of Council of the Presidencies 
of Fort Saint George and Bombay respectively now have in 
their respective Presidencies ; provided that no Governor or 
Governor in Council shall have the Power of Making or suspend- 
ing any Regulations or Laws in any Case whatever, unless in 
cases of urgent Necessity (the Burthen of the Proof whereof 
shall be on such Governor or Governor in Council), and then 
only until the Decision of the Governor General of India in 
Council shall be signified thereon ; and provided also, that no 
Governor or Governor in Council shall have the power of creat- 
ing any new Office, or granting any salary, Gratuity, or Allow- 
ance, without the previous Sanction of the Governor General of 
India in Council. 

60. Provided always, and be it enacted, That when and so 

often as the said Court of Directors shall 

J^Sr^SSSK "fS^l for the Space of Two Calendar 

to supply vacancy in any Months, to be computed from the Day 

omce, ti ap- whereon the Notification of the Vacancy of 

any office or Employment in India in the 

Appointment of the said Court shall have been received by the 

7 



50 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

said Court, to supply such Vacancy, then and in every such 
Case it shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint, by Writing 
under His Sign Manual, such Person as His Majesty shall think 
proper to supply such Vacancy ; and that every Person so 
appointed shall have the same Powers, Privileges, and Autho- 
rities as if he or they had been appointed by the said Court, and 
shall not be subject to Removal or Dismissal without the Ap- 
probation and Consent of His Majesty. 

61. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the said 

Court of Directors to appoint any person 
Power for the court to or Persons provisionally to succeed to any 

make provisional ap *~*.ev f r i \ r \ 

pointments to any of the Offices aforesaid, for supplying any 
pSmenL r ^rtain Vacancy or Vacancies therein, when the 
Hi f 8 C Maje 8 b ty. approved by same shall happen by the Death or Resig- 
nation of the Person or Persons holding the 
same office or offices respectively, or on his or their Departure 
from India with Intent to return to Europe, or on any Event or 
Contingency expressed in any such provisional Appointment or 
Appointments to the same respectively, and such Appoint- 
ments again to revoke. Provided that every provisional Ap- 
pointment to the several offices of Governor General of India, 
Governor of a Presidency, and the Member of Council of India, 
by this Act directed to be appointed from amongst Persons who 
shall not be servants of the said Company, shall be subject to 
the Approbation of His Majesty, to be signified as aforesaid, but 
that no Person so appointed to succeed provisionally to any of 
the said Offices shall be entitled to any Authority, Salary or 
Emolument appertaining thereto until he shall be in the actual 
Possession of such Office. 

62. And be it enacted, That if any vacancy shall happen 

in the office of Governor General of India 
the ottlce f of va ao?erno? no provisional or other successor shall be 

2p^n e ^ n p d o n t?th C e C ordN U P n the S P Ot tO ^PP 1 ^ SUCh VaC . anC y 

nary member of Council then and in every such case the ordinary 
8 n uc x n. in mk to act M Member of council next in rank to the 
said Governor-General shall hold and exe- 
cute the said office of Governor General of India and Gover- 
nor of the Presidency of Fort William in Bengal until a successor 
shall arrive, or until some other person on the spot shall be duly 
appointed thereto ; and that every such acting Governor- 
General shall, during the time of his continuing to act as such, 
have and exercise all the rights and powers of Governor- 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. $1 

General of India, and shall be entitled to receive the Emoluments 
and advantages appertaining to the office by him supplied, such 
acting Governor-General foregoing his salary and allowance of 
a member of council for the same period. 

63. And be it enacted, that if any vacancy shall happen in 

the office of Governor of Fort Saint George, 
in case of a vacancy in Bombay, or Agra when no provisional or 
ofthl SrTnau other successor shall be upon the spot to 
lfaT'o? 8 othe? sic"- supply such vacancy, then and in every such 
cessor on the spot. case, if there shall be a council in the Presi- 

dency in which such vacancy shall happen, 
the member of such council, who shall be next in rank to the 
Governor, other than the Commander in Chief or officer com- 
manding the forces of such Presidency, and if there shall be no 
council, then the secretary of Government of the said Presidency 
who shall be senior in the said office of Secretary, shall hold 
and execute the said office of Governor until a successor shall 
arrive, or until some other person on the spot shall be duly 
appointed thereto ; and that every such acting Governor shall, 
during the time of his continuing to act as such, receive and be 
entitled to the Emoluments and advantages appertaining to the 
office by him supplied, such acting Governor foregoing all 
salaries and allowances by him held and enjoyed at the time of 
his being called to supply such office. 

64. And be it enacted, that if any vacancy shall happen 

in the office of an ordinary member of 
in case of a vacancy in Council of India when no person provision- 

the office of a member of n ,< . , j , i 

council when no provi- ally or otherwise appointed to succeed 
o i n tne sp2t thersucce88or thereto shall be then present on the spot, 
then and on every such occasion such 
vacancy shall be supplied by the appointment of the Governor 
General in Council ; and if any vacancy shall happen in the Office 
of a Member of Council of any Presidency when no person pro- 
visionally or otherwise appointed to succeed thereto shall be then 
present on the Spot, then and on every such occasion such 
Vacancy shall be supplied by the appointment of the Governor 
in Council of the Presidency in which such vacancy shall happen, 
and until a Successor shall arrive the Person so nominated shall 
execute the office by him supplied, and shall have all the powers 
thereof, and shall have and be entitled to the Salary and other 
Emoluments and Advantages appertaining to the said office dur- 
ing his continuance therein, every such temporary Member of 



52 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

Council foregoing all Salaries and Allowances by him held and 
enjoyed at the time of his being appointed to such office : 
Provided always, that no person shall be appointed a temporary 
Member of Council who might not have been appointed by the 
said Court of Directors to fill the vacancy supplied by such 
temporary appointment. 

65. And be it further enacted, That the said Governor- 

General in Council shall have and be in- 
in T o^T e t r o n r h?v e e ne t r he vested by virtue of this Act with full 
control over the Presi- Power and Authority to superintend and 

dencles. . . _ J . "- 

control the Governors and Governors in 
Council of Fort William in Bengal, Fort Saint George, Bombay, 
and Agra, in all Points relating to the Civil or Military Ad- 
ministration of the said Presidencies respectively, and the said 
Governors and Governors in Council shall be bound to obey 
such orders and Instructions of the said Governor-General in 
Council in all Cases whatsoever. 

66. And be it enacted, That it shall and may be lawful 
Drafts of laws pro- * r t ^ ie Governors or Governors in Council 

posed by Governors to be of Fort William in Bengal, Fort Saint 

taken into consideration ^ T^ u j A 

by G&yernor General in George, Bombay, and Agra respectively, 
to propose to the said Governor General 

in Council Drafts or Projects of any Laws or Regulations 
which the said Governors or Governors in Council respectively 
may think expedient, together with their Reasons for proposing 
the same ; and the said Governor General in Council is hereby 
required to take the same and such Reasons into consideration, 
and to communicate the Resolutions of the said Governor 
General in Council thereon, to the Governor or Governor in 
Council by whom the same shall have been proposed. 

67. And be it enacted, That when the said Governor 

General shall visit any of the Presidencies of 

Powers of Governors n- . r* '* /* T i A ^.i 

of Presidencies not to be Fort Saint George, Bombay, or Agra, the 
Powers of the Governors of those Presiden- 
cies respectively shall not by reason of such visit be suspended. 

68. And be it enacted, That the said Governors and 

Governors in Council of the said Presiden- 
cies of Fort William in Bengal, Fort Saint 
rn cou n?i L ernorQeneral George, Bombay, and Agra respectively 
shall and they are hereby respectively 

required regularly to transmit to the said Governor General 
in Council true and exact Copies of all such Orders and Acts 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 53 

of their respective Governments, and also Advice and Intelli- 
gence of all Transactions and Matters which shall have come 
to their Knowledge, and which they shall deem material to be 
communicated to the said Governor General in Council as afore- 
said, or as the said Governor General in Council shall from 
Time to Time require. 

69. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for the said 

Governor General in Council, as often as 
?l the Exigencies of the Public Service may 
Governor of appear to him to require, to appoint such 

one of the Ordinary Members of the said 
Council of India as he may think fit to be Deputy Governor 
of the said Presidency of Fort William in Bengal, and such 
Deputy Governor shall be invested with all the Powers and 
perform all the Duties of the said Governor of the Presidency 
of Fort William in Bengal, but shall receive no additional 
Salary by reason of such Appointment. 

70. And be it enacted, That whenever the said Governor 

General in Council shall declare that it 

In case 11 snail DC . .. i ^ >~ 

deemed expedient for is expedient that the said Governor Gene- 
^t G0 any rn P a r rt Q or r ind*a ral should visit any Part of India un- 
without his council. accompanied by any Member or Members 
of the Council of India, it shall be lawful for the said Governor 
General in Council, previously to the Departure of the said 
Governor General, to nominate some Member of the Council 
of India to be President of the said Council, in whom during 
the Absence of the said Governor General from the said Presi- 
dency of Fort William in Bengal, the Powers of the said Gover- 
nor General in Assemblies of the said Council shall be reposed ; 
and it shall be lawful in every such Case for the said Governor 
General in Council, by a Law or Regulation for that Purpose 
to be made, to authorize the Governor General alone to exercise 
all or any of the Powers which might be exercised by the said 
Governor General in Council, except the Power of making 
Laws or Regulations : Provided always, that during the 
Absence of the Governor General no Law or Regulation shall 
be made by the said President and Council without the Assent 
in Writing of the said Governor General. 

74. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for His 

His Maiest ma re- Majesty, by any Writing under His Sign 

movl any o s tnce ma o y f the Manual, countersigned by the President 

company in India. of the sajd Roard of Commissioners, to 



54 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

remove or dismiss any Person holding any Office, Employment 
or Commission, Civil or Military, under the said Company in 
India, and to vacate any Appointment or Commission of any 
Person to any such Office or Employment ; provided that a 
Copy of every such writing, attested by the said President, 
shall within Eight Days after the same shall be signed by His 
Majesty be transmitted or delivered to the Chairman or Deputy 
Chairman of the said Company. 

75. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing in 

this Act contained shall take away the 

The power of Directors ,-, f ., i /^ r -r-v 

to remove their servants 1 OWCr OI the Said LOUrt OI Directors to 

preserved. remove or dismiss any of the Officers or 

Servants of the said Company, but that the said Court shall 
and may at all Times have full Liberty to remove or dismiss 
any of such Officers or Servants at their Will and Pleasure ; 
provided that any Servant of the said Company appointed by 
His Majesty through the Default of Appointment by the said 
Court of Directors shall not be dismissed or removed without 
His Majesty's Approbation, as herein-before is mentioned. 

76. And be it enacted, That there shall be paid to the 

several Officers herein-after named the 

Qe S n a e^ie S tc fix^r e to n be several Salaries set against the Names of 
Acceptance*"! gituitSi such Officers, subject to such Reduction 
a rnjsdemeanor. Passage o f the said several Salaries respectively as 

the said Court of Directors, with the Sanc- 
tion of the said Board, may at any Time think fit ; (that is to 
say,) 

To the Governor General of India, Two hundred and 
forty thousand Sicca Rupees : 

To each Ordinary Member of the Council of India, 
Ninety-six thousand Sicca Rupees : 

To each Governor of the Presidencies of Fort Saint 
George, Bombay, and Agra, One hundred and twenty 
thousand Sicca Rupees : 

To each Member of any Council to be appointed in any 
Presidency, Sixty thousand Sicca Rupees : 

And the Salaries of the said Officers respectively shall 
commence from their respectively taking upon them the Exe- 
cution of their respective Offices, and the said salaries shall 
be the whole Profit or Advantage which the said Officers 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 55 

shall enjoy during their Continuance in such Offices respective- 
ly ; and it shall be and it is hereby declared to be a Misdemeanor 
for any such Officer to accept for his own Use, in the Discharge 
of his Office, any Present, Gift, Donation, Gratuity, or Reward, 
pecuniary or otherwise whatsoever, or to trade or traffic for his 
own Benefit or for the Benefit of any other person or persons 
whatsoever ; and the said Court of Directors are hereby required 
to pay to all and singular the Officers and persons here-in- 
after named who shall be resident in the United Kingdom at 
the Time of their respective Appointments, for the Purpose of 
defraying the Expenses of their Equipment and Voyage, such 
Sums of Money as are set against the Names of such Officers 
and Persons respectively ; (that is to say,) 

To the Governor General, Five thousand Pounds : 
To each Member of the Council of India, One thousand two 
hundred Pounds : 

To each Governor of the Presidencies of Fort Saint George, 
Bombay, and Agra, Two thousand five hundred Pounds : 
Provided also, that any Governor General, Governor, or Mem- 
ber of Council appointed by or by virtue of this Act, who shall 
at the Time of passing this Act hold the Office of Governor 
General, Governor, or member of Council respectively, shall re- 
ceive the same Salary and Allowances that he would have re- 
ceived if this Act had not been passed. 

77. Provided always, and be it enacted, That if any 

Governor General, Governor, or Ordinary 

ao?oto?w*i!! Member of the Council of India, or any 
sions and other saia- Member of the Council of any Presidency, 

shall hold or enjoy any Pension, Salary, 

or any Place, Office, or Employment of Profit under the Crown 
or any Public Office of the said Company, or any Annuity pay- 
able out of the Civil or Military Fund of the said Company, the 
Salary of his Office of Governor General of India, Governor or 
Member of Council , shall be reduced by the Amount of the 
Pension, Salary, Annuity, or Profits of Office so respectively 
held or enjoyed by him. 

78. And be it enacted, That the said Court of Directors, 

with the Approbation of the said Board of 
R uiaTionf?o"\hr a diltrt." Commissioners, shall and may from Time 
button of patronage in to Time make Regulations for the Divi- 

sion and Distribution of the Patronage and 
Power of Nomination of and to the Offices, Commands, and 



56 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

Employments in the said Territories, and in all or any of the 
Presidencies thereof, among the said Governor General in Coun- 
cil, Governor General, Governors in Council, Governors, Com- 
mander in Chief and other Commanding Officers respectively 
appointed or to be appointed under this Act. 

79. And be it enacted, That the Return to Europe or the 

Departure from India with Intent to return 
Departure of Gover- to Europe of any Governor General of 
tfon'. India, Governor, Member of Council, or 
in saiary to Commander in Chief, shall be deemed in 
cease on departure or L aw a Resignation and Avoidance of his 

resignation. As to of ficers 

dying during absence. Umce or Employment, and that no Act or 
Declaration of any Governor General, or 
Governor, or Member of Council, other than as aforesaid, ex- 
cepting a Declaration in writing under Hand and Seal, deli- 
vered to the Secretary for the Public Department of the Presi- 
dency wherein he shall be, in order to its being recorded, 
shall be deemed or held as a Resignation or Surrender 
of his said Office ; and that the Salary and other Allow- 
ances of any such Governor General or other Officer res- 
pectively shall cease from the Day of such his Departure, Re- 
signation, or Surrender ; and that if any such Governor Gene- 
ral or Member of Council of India shall leave the said Terri- 
tories, or if any Governor or other Officer whatever in the Ser- 
vice of the said Company shall leave the Presidency to which 
he shall belong, other than in the known actual Service of the 
said Company, the Salary and Allowances appertaining to his 
Office shall not be paid or payable during his Absence to any 
Agent or other Person for his Use ; and in the event of his 
not returning, or of his coming to Europe, his Salary and Allow- 
ances shall be deemed to have ceased on the Day of his leaving 
the said Territories, or the Presidency to which he may have 
belonged ; provided that it shall be lawful for the said Com- 
pany to make such Payment as is now by Law permitted to be 
made to the Representatives of their Officers or Servants who, 
having left their Stations intending to return thereto, shall die 
during their Absence. 

80. And be it enacted, That every wilful disobeying, and 
Disobedience of or- evei T wilful omitting, forbearing, or neg- 

ders and breach of trust lectinof to execute the Orders or Instruc- 

by officers or servants of ... r . j /- r T^- i_ 

the Company in India, tions of the said Court of Directors by any 
Governor General of India, Governor, 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. $? 

Member of Council, or Commander in Chief, or by any other of 
the Officers or Servants of the said Company, unless in Cases of 
Necessity (the Burthen of the Proof of which Necessity shall 
be on the Person so disobeying or omitting, forbearing or neg- 
lecting, to execute such Orders or Instructions as aforesaid) ; 
and every wilful Breach of the Trust and Duty of any Office or 
Employment by any such Governor General, Governor, Mem- 
ber of Council, or Commander in Chief, or any of the Officers 
or Servants of the said Company, shall be deemed and taken to 
be a Misdemeanor at Law, and shall or may be proceeded 
against and punished as such by virtue of this Act. 

87. And be it enacted, That no Native of the said Terri- 
tories, nor any natural-born Subject of 
pect N Sf d rlfi b gVon, e eJS. res " His Majesty resident therein, shall, by 
reason only of his Religion, Place of Birth 

Descent, Colour, or any of them, be disabled from holding 
any Place, Office, or Employment under the said Company. 

94. Provided always, and be it enacted, That the Bishop 
of Calcutta for the Time being shall be 
The Bishop of Calcutta deemed and taken to be the Metropolitan 
India! r Bishop in India, and as such shall have, 

enjoy,and exercise all such Ecclesiastical 
Jurisdiction and Episcopal Functions, for the Purposes afore- 
said, as His Majesty shall by his Royal Letters Patent under 
the Great Seal of the said United Kingdom think necessary to 
direct, subject nevertheless to the general Superintendence 
and Revision of the Archbishop of Canterbury for the Time 
being ; and that the Bishops of Madras and Bombay for the 
Time being respectively shall be subject to the Bishop of 
Calcutta for the Time being as such Metropolitan, and shall, 
at the Time of their respective Appointments to such Bishop- 
ricks, or at the Time of their respective Consecrations as Bishop, 
take an Oath of Obedience to the said Bishop of Calcutta in 
such Manner as His Majesty by His said Royal Letters Patent 
shall be pleased to direct. 

109. And be it enacted, That every Power, Authority, 
and Function by this or any other Act or 

ol m^tTrrto^be^ ActS g iven tO Snd VCSted in the Said C Ur t 

ject to control except pat- of Directors shall be deemed and taken 
to be subject to such Control of the said 

Board of Commissioners as in this Act is mentioned, unless 
there shall be something in the Enactments conferring such 

8 



58 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1833. 

Powers, Authorities, or Functions inconsistent with such Cons- 
truction, and except as to any Patronage or Right of appoint- 
ing to Office vested in or reserved to the said Court. 

no. Provided always, and be it enacted, That nothing 
herein contained shall be construed to en- 
Board of control pro- able the said Board of Commissioners to 
give or cause to be given Directions order- 
ing or authorizing the Payment of any ex- 
traordinary Allowance or Gratuity, or the Increase of any estab- 
lished Salary, Allowance, or Emolument, unless in the Cases 
and subject to the Provisions in and subject to which such Direc- 
tions may now be given by the said Board, or to increase the 
Sum now payable by the said company on account of the said 
Board, except only by such Salaries or Allowances as shall be 
payable to the Officers to be appointed as herein-before is men- 
tioned to attend upon the said Board during the winding up of 
the Commercial Business of the said Company. 

115. And be it enacted, That it shall be lawful for any 
Court of Justice established by His Majes- 

rized^admTAdv^te; ty's Charters in the said Territories to 
the company 1 " iinse. ut a PP rove > admit and inrol Persons as Barris- 
ters, Advocates, and Attornies in such 

Court without any License from the said Company, any thing 
in any such Charter contained to the contrary notwithstan- 
ding : Provided always, that the being entitled to practise as an 
Advocate in the Principal Courts of Scotland is and shall be 
deemed and taken to be a Qualification for Admission as an 
Advocate in any Court in India equal to that of having been 
called to the Bar in England or Ireland. 

116. And be it further enacted, That the Court of Direc- 
tors of the said Company shall, within the 
Accounts to be annu- first Fourteen sitting Days next after the 

ally laid before Parli- T--^T^ r TVT tr i ir 

ament. First Day of May in every Year, lay before 

both Houses of Parliament an Account, 
made up according to the latest Advices which shall have 
been received, of the annual Produce of the Revenues of the said 
Territories in India, distinguishing the same and the respective 
Heads thereof at each of their several Presidencies or Settle- 
ments, and of all their annual Receipts and Disbursements at 
Home and Abroad, distinguishing the same under the respec- 
tive Heads thereof, together with the latest Estimate of the 
same, and also the Amount of their Debts, with the Rates of 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 59 

Interest they respectively carry, and the annual Amount of 
such Interest, the State of their Effects and Credits at each 
Presidency or Settlement, and in England or Elsewhere, accor- 
ding to the latest Advices which shall have been received there- 
of, and also a List of their several Establishments, and the 
Salaries and Allowances payable by the said Court of Direc- 
tors, in respect thereof ; and the said Court of Directors, 
under the Direction and Control of the said Board of 
Commissioners, shall forthwith prepare Forms of the said 
Accounts and Estimates in such Manner as to exhibit a com- 
plete and accurate View of the Financial Affairs of the said 
Company ; and if any new or increased Salaries, Establish- 
ments, or Pensions shall have been granted or created within 
any Year, the Particulars thereof shall be specially stated and 
explained at the Foot of the Account of the said Year. 

B. 

EXTRACTS FROM THE DESPATCH* (ACCOMPANYING THE 
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1833) FROM THE COURT OF 
DIRECTORS OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY TO THE GOV- 
ERNMENT OF INDIA, NO. 44, DATED THE IOTH DECEMBER, 
1834. 

1. In considering the alterations which have been made 
by the Act of last session of Parliament in the constitu- 
tion of the Indian Government, it seems to us of importance, 
that a very full communication should take place between your 
Government and us, of the views we respectively entertain of 
the operation of the new enactments, and of the mode in which 
the powers entrusted to us can best be employed for fulfilling 
the benevolent intentions of the legislature. 

2. You are already apprized of what has been done to 
constitute in the first instance the several Governments, and 
of the appointments which, for that purpose, it has been deemed 
expedient to make. 

3. Of the Commercial changes, the Financial results, 
and Military arrangements which will be required in the new 
state of the Government, our observations and instructions 

* Tradition ascribes this piece to the pen of JAMES MILL. His son, J. S. MILL, 
was the author of the protest by the Company against the transfer to the Crown 
in 1858. 



60 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

have been or will be, transmitted to you, in the appropriate 
departments. At present our remarks will relate to the great 
change made in the legislative powers of the Supreme Govern- 
ment, the relation in which the Supreme Government will 
stand 'to the Subordinate Governments, the effect of the 
new arrangements on the two great departments of internal 
administration, Justice and Revenue, the increased facilities 
granted to Europeans of settling and holding land in the 
country, the measures prescribed with regard to slavery, the 
removal of disabilities to office, the provisions regarding 
ecclesiastical affairs and the sending home of estimates of 
vacancies in the Civil Service. Before we proceed, however, to 
observe on these several points, we think it expedient to draw 
your attention to some of the general views and intentions 
of the Act with respect to them. By so doing we shall render 
more distinct and perspicuous the particular observations into 
which we shall afterwards enter, and may at the same time 
afford you some useful suggestion in carrying into effect the 
provisions of the Act in matters on which, on this occasion at 
least, we do not think it necessary to give you any specific 
instructions. 

4. The changes which the Act contemplates in the gov- 
ernment and political constitution of British India are partly 
prospective and partly immediate. The state of things at which 
it aims in prospect is that which is comprehensively described 
in the preambulary part of the 53rd Clause, when a gen- 
eral system of justice and police, and a code of laws, common 
(as far as may be) to the whole people of India, and having its 
varieties classified and systematized, shall be established 
throughout the country. The preparation of such a system and 
such a code must be set about immediately ; and it is principally 
with a view to that object, and for the purpose of collecting 
and arranging the necessary materials, and of advising the 
Government as to the disposition of them that the Law Com- 
missioners are to be appointed. But with whatever celerity 
those Commissioners proceed, their task cannot be completed 
in a day. The Act indeed asserts, or rather assumes, it to be 
expedient that the general system on prospect "should be 
established in the said Territories at an early period" : but 
'early' is a word of relation. No time should be lost by delay : 
none should be worse than lost by precipitation. The careful 
observance of these two conditions will practically determine 
the length of time required. 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 6l 

5. Thus, however, besides that ultimate state of things to 
which the Act looks forward, it contemplates an intermediate 
period ; a period of enquiry, of consideration, of preparation, in 
some degree even of experiment ; and it is to this interval that 
several of its provisions relate. As the labours of the Law 
Commissioners are intended to fill up the whole of this interval, 
one principal care of the Government will be to guide the 
course and promote the efficiency, of those labours ; and this 
is plainly contemplated by the Act which, however, does not 
limit itself to this view of the subject. Without awaiting the 
result of the enquiries and deliberation of the Commissioners 
it proceeds at once to change the constitution of the Indian 
Government, by investing the Governor General in Council 
with legislative powers of a new and independent kind, by 
extending the operation of those powers over the subordinate 
Governments, and by so modifying the structure of the Supreme 
Council internally as to adapt it to the discharge of its altered 
functions. 

6. At first sight this change may perhaps appear pre- 
mature. It may seem that the more natural course would 
have been to leave the Government, for the present, nearly 
as it is, or at least to withhold from it the extensive powers 
of legislation which it is to exercise under the Act ; and, 
when the Commissioners shall have so far completed their en- 
quiries and deliberations as to make it practicable to adopt a 
general scheme of law, judicature and police, then, and no 
sooner, to alter the consitution of the Government with an 
especial reference to that new sphere of action which it will have 
to enter. 

7. But reflection will, as we believe, shew that the legisla- 
ture has judged wisely, or rather has only obeyed a moral 
necessity in introducing immediately and without delay, the 
important alterations to which we have referred. 

8. Although some time may elapse before the whole 
people of India, native and foreign, can be placed under one 
common system, yet it is highly desirable that approximations 
should previously be made to that result. In this view, it will 
often be advantageous to act on the suggestions of the Commis- 
sioners partially and experimentally ; thus facilitating as well 
as accelerating the introduction of the system in question. 
But in order to act on this plan, it is obviously necessary that 
the local Government should have the means of legislating 



62 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

freely and with effect ; that it should be able to shape its course 
according to its own view, both of the results to be ultimately 
accomplished, and of the circumstances to be intermediately 
consulted ; and at any rate that some of the anomalies which 
at present belong to the frame of the Government should be 
from time to time removed. 

9. There were, however, other considerations which, much 
more strongly than these, dictated such alterations in the Gov- 
ernment as should enable it to legislate for a great community. 
The Act unsealed for the first time the doors of British India to 
British subjects of European birth. Hitherto the English in 
India have been there only on sufferance. Now they have 
acquired a right, however qualified, to live in the country and 
even to become occupants of land, and there is every prospect 
of a considerable increase of their members. It is therefore neces- 
sary that the local Governments should have full means of 
dealing with them, not merely in extreme cases, and by a trans- 
cendental act of authority, but in the current and ordinary 
exercise of its functions and through the medium of laws care- 
fully made and promptly and impartially administered. On no 
other condition could the experiment of free ingress of Euro- 
peans be safely tried. 

10. While new legislative powers are conferred on the 
Supreme Government, the legislative powers hitherto possessed 
by the subordinate Governments are to be modified and 
abridged. On this topic we need hardly refer to the discussions 
which have of late years taken place both in India and in 
England on the best mode of constituting the Indian Govern- 
ments ; the decisive consideration with the legislature probably 
was the necessity of strengthening the Supreme Government in 
consequence of the free admission of Europeans into the 
interior of the country. 

11. In whatever way the Europeans may disperse them- 
selves throughout India, they will be united together by a 
powerful sympathy and will in fact maintain a constant com- 
munication. It is therefore both just and natural that they 
should live under the control of the same laws ; nor would it 
be easy to legislate in reference to a part of them without 
keeping in view the whole body. It is specially to be recol- 
lected that the task of legislating in India for Europeans 
naturalized in the country and not dependent on the Govern- 
ment is altogether new and experimental. The difficulties of 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 63 

this task may have been overrated, but undoubtedly they are 
not slight or evanescent, and they would be much aggravated 
if the different Governments were all armed with co-equal and 
independent legislative powers, and if they were to proceed to 
exercise such powers at their discretion respectively, and 
perhaps with very different views and according to inconsistent 
principles. While, therefore, it is important in reference to the 
admission of Europeans into the interior, that the subordinate 
Governments, commanding as they do different regions of the 
empire, should have their executive capacities and even that a 
new station should be added to them in the north of India, yet 
there seem good reasons for collecting and uniting all the 
functions of legislation in one central and metropolitan govern- 
ment. 

15. The first principle is that no law, except one of an 
occasional kind, or arising out of some pressing emergency, 
should be passed without having been submitted to mature 
deliberation and discussion. 

16. * * * In this country the length and publi- 
city of the process by which a law passes from the shape of a 
project into that of a complete enactment, and the conflict of 
opinions through which the transit must be made constitute a 
security against rash or thoughtless legislation. There may 
indeed be exceptions, for there are cases in which the pressure 
of popular feeling forces a law prematurely into existence. 

We deem it of great moment, therefore, that 
you should by positive rules provide that every project or 
proposal of a law shall travel through a defined succession of 
stages in Council before it is finally adopted ; that at each 
stage it shall be amply discussed ; and that the intervals of 
discussion shall be such as to allow to each Member of Council 
adequate opportunity of reflection and enquiry. 

1 8. * * * Provision must of course be made 
for extreme cases, and in the last resort the ultimate power 
specifically reserved by the 4Qth Clause of the new Act to the 
Governor General of acting singly and on his own responsibi- 
lity, will afford a refuge from the possible evil of distracted 
counsels and infirm resolutions. But the occasions which 
compel the use of these extreme remedies rarely occur in well- 
governed states ; and in general, we are persuaded that in a 
punctual, constant, and even fastidious adherence to your 
ordinary rules of practice, you will find the best security, not 



64 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

only for the efficiency, but also for the despatch of your legis- 
lative proceedings. 

19. While thus considering the deliberative part of your 
duties, our attention is necessarily led to one important altera- 
tion which the Act has made on the constitution of the Supreme 
Council. We allude to the appointment of the fourth ordinary 
member of Council, as described in the 4Oth Clause. 

20. In the first and simplest view of this remarkable 
provision, the presence and assistance of the fourth counsellor 
must be regarded as a substitute for that sanction of the 
Supreme Court of Judicature which has hitherto been necessary 
to the validity of regulation affecting the inhabitants of the 
Presidencies, but which under the new system, will no longer 
be required. It is, however, evident that the view of the legis- 
lature extended beyond the mere object of providing such a 
substitute. 

21. The concurrence of the fourth member of Council 
may be wanting to a law, and the law may be good still, even 
his absence at the time of enactment will not vitiate the law, 
but Parliament manifestly intended that the whole of his time 
and attention, and all the resources of knowledge and ability 
which he may possess, should be employed in promoting the 
due discharge of the legislative functions of the Council. He 
has indeed no pre-eminent control over the duties of this 
department, but he is peculiarly charged with them in all their 
ramifications. His will naturally be the principal share, not 
only in the task of giving shape and connexion to the several 
laws as they pass, but also in the mighty labour of collecting 
all that local information, and calling into view all those 
general considerations which belong to each occasion, and of 
thus enabling the Council to embody the abstract and essential 
principles of good government in regulation adapted to the 
peculiar habits, character, and institutions of the vast and infi- 
nitely diversified people under their sway. 

22. It will be observed that the fourth member is declared 
not to be entitled to sit or vote in the Council, except at 
meetings for the making of laws and regulations. 

23. We do not, however, perceive that you are precluded 
by anything in the law from availing yourselves of his presence 
without his vote on any occasion on which you may think it 
desirable ; and on many, if not all, of the subjects on which 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 65 

your deliberation may turn, an intimate knowledge of what 
passes in Council will be of essential service to him in the dis- 
charge of his legislative functions. Unless he is in habits of 
constant communication and entire confidence with his col- 
leagues, unless he is familiar with the details of internal ad- 
ministration, with the grounds on which the Government acts, 
and with the information by which it is guided, he cannot 
possibly sustain his part in the legislative conferences or 
measures with the knowledge, readiness, and independence 
essential to a due performance of his duty. 

24. * * * It should, we think, be open to every 
member of Council, to propose any law or regulation for 
adoption, and his proposal should be taken into discussion, 
even though he should, at the outset, stand alone in his opinion. 
In deliberative assemblies differently and more numerously 
constituted no proposition can be entertained which is not 
seconded, as well as moved. The reasonableness of the rule is 
obvious, but in the deliberations of a small and select body, we 
do not think that the same condition should be enforced. 

25. * * * Another point, not less important, 
is to provide that in the work of legislation, you shall as far as 
may be practicable avail yourselves of external aid. Persons 
who are not members of your body may afford you valuable 
assistance, either by suggesting laws that are required, or by 
pointing out what is improvable or objectionable, in the drafts 
or projects of laws under consideration. 

26. With respect to the suggestion of new laws, the Act 
(by Clause 66) expressly requires you to take into consideration 
the drafts or projects of laws or regulations which any of the 
subordinate Governments may propose to you. * * * 
T he Act also, we need not say, contemplates constant commu- 
nications from the Law Commissioners which communications 
are intended, to furnish the grounds or the materials for legis- 
lation. Useful intimations may also be derived from the 
Public Boards, from the Judges of the Supreme Court, from all 
persons, whether Native or European, invested with a judicial 
character or holding official stations of eminence, from all 
Colleges and other constituted bodies, perhaps from the Native 
heads of villages, or even private individuals of personal weight 
and influence. We do not mean that these Parties should by 
law be entitled to call on the legislature to discuss such sugges- 
tions, or to come to any decision respecting them. No such 



66 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834, 

right belongs to those who petition to the Houses of Parliament 
in this country. We mean only that their suggestions should 
be received and should even be invited. 

27. Not less material is the other object to which we have 
adverted, that of taking the opinions of the community, or of 
influential persons, on the projects of law under consideration ; 
an advantage which in England is secured by the publicity of 
the discussions in Parliament, and by the time which the pass- 
ing of an Act requires ; but which can be obtained in India only 
by making special provision for it. 

28. * * * All, therefore, that we should require 
would be that, with such exceptions as you may deem requisite 
with a view to the progress of current and ordinary legislation, 
the project of intended laws shall be so made known to the 
Public as to afford opportunities to the persons or classes 
whom they may particularly affect, to offer their comments or 
complaints to the legislature ; and that the rule which you at any 
time prescribe to yourselves for the purpose shall be submitted 
to the consideration of the Authorities at home. 

30. The laws are now printed in English, 

in the language of the Courts, and in whatever is the prevalent 
language of the country. And copies of them are furnished to 
the several functionaries of Government. It would, however, 
be desirable, that they were more generally made known to 
the people. It will deserve your consideration what measures 
can be taken for that end. One thing at any rate can be done. 
Cheap copies in the language of the country ought to be every- 
where ready for sale to all who have the desire to possess them. 

33. Heretofore you have been invested with executive 
powers of superintendence over the legislation of the subor- 
dinate Presidencies. But as those Presidencies have had the 
right of legislating for themselves, your superintendence has 
been exercised only on rare and particular occasions. Now 
their legislative functions, with a reserve for certain excepted 
cases, are to be subordinate to those of the Supreme Govern- 
ment. The whole responsibility rests on you ; and every law 
which has an especial reference to the local interests of any of 
those Presidencies, and every general law in respect of its parti- 
cular bearing and operation on such local interests, ought to be 
pre-considered by you with as deep and as anxious attention 
as if it affected only the welfare of the Presidency in which you 
reside. You may indeed, as we have already observed, receive 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 67 

from the subordinate Presidencies suggestions or drafts of laws 
and these it may frequently be expedient to invite. But in no 
instance will this exempt you from the obligation of so consi- 
dering every provision of the law as to make it really your own, 
the offspring of your own minds, after obtaining an adequate 
knowledge of the case. We say this knowing as we do, how 
easily the power of delegating a duty, degenerates into the 
habit of neglecting it ; and dreading lest at some future period, 
under the form of offering projects of laws, the subordinate 
Presidencies should be left to legislate for themselves, with 
as little aid from the wisdom of the Supreme Government 
as when the power of legislating was ostensibly in their own 
hands. 

37. In contemplating the extent of legislative powers thus 
conferred immediately on our Supreme Government, and in the 
second instance on ourselves, in considering that in the use of 
this power the difference between the worst and the best of 
Governments mainly depends in reflecting how many millions 
of men may, by the manner in which it shall in the present ins- 
tance be exercised, be rendered happy or miserable - in adver- 
ting to the countless variety of interests to be studied and of 
difficulties to be overcome, in the execution of this mighty trust, 
we own that we feel oppressed by the weight of the responsi- 
bility under which we with you are conjointly laid. Whatever 
means or efforts can be employed on the occasion, whatever 
can be effected by free and active discussion, or by profound and 
conscientious deliberation ; whatever aids can be derived from 
extrinsic council or intelligence, all at the utmost will be barely 
commensurate with the magnitude of the sphere to be occupied, 
and of the service to be performed. We feel confident that to 
this undertaking your best thoughts and care will be immediate- 
ly and perseveringly applied ; and we invite the full, the constant, 
and the early communication of your sentiments in relation to it. 
On our part, we can venture to affirm that no endeavour shall 
be wanting in promoting your views ; and perfecting your 
plans. Others also who are in a situation, by advice or exertion, 
to assist in the work, will contribute to it, we hope to the extent 
of their power, and we trust that by the blessing of Divine Pro- 
vidence on our united labours, the just and beneficent intentions 
of this country, in delegating to our hands the legislative as well 
as the executive administration of the mightiest, the most im- 
portant, and the most interesting of its transmarine possessions, 
will be happily accomplished. 



68 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

39. For this subject we particularly refer you to the 
43rd, 46th, 8i s t, 82nd, 83rd, 84th, 8sth and 86th clauses of 
the Act. 

40. These Clauses bring into view the legislative duties 
which will be imposed on you by the free admission now to be 
afforded to British subjects into the interior of India, among 
the first of which duties will be the obligation of providing, 
as directed by the 85th clause, for the protection of the natives 
from insult and outrages in their persons, properties, religions 
and opinions. 

41. The importance and indeed the absolute necessity of 
extending to the natives such protection we need not demons- 
trate. Though English capitalists settling in the country, if 
they are governed by an enlightened sense of their own inter- 
ests, will see the importance of acquiring the confidence of 
their native neighbours by a just and conciliatory course of 
conduct, yet even some of this class may yield to the influence 
of worse motives. Eagerness for some temporary advantages, 
the consciousness of power, the pride of a fancied superiority 
of race, the absence of any adequate check from public opinion, 
the absence also in many cases of the habitual check supplied 
by the stated and public recurrence of religious observances 
these and other causes may occasionally lead even the settled 
resident to be less guarded in his treatment of the people than 
would accord with a just view of his situation. Much more 
may acts of outrage or insolence be expected from casual 
adventurers cut off possibly from Europe by the consequences 
of previous misconduct, at all events, released from the re- 
straints which in this country the overawing influence of 
society imposes on all men not totally abandoned. The greater 
necessity is there that such persons should be placed under 
other checks. 

43. Whatever provision may be made against occasional 
abuse, the views of Parliament in opening the interior of India, 
to Europeans are to be carefully kept in recollection. The 
Clauses which effect this great alteration in our Indian policy 
are not restraining but enabling enactments. The legislature 
has avowedly proceeded on the principle, that generally speak- 
ing and on the whole, the increased entrance of Europeans into 
the interior of India, their increased power of blending their 
interests with those of the country, and their increased oppor- 
tunity of freely associating with the natives, will prove bene- 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 69 

ficial to the native people, and promotive of their general 
improvement and prosperity. That which the legislature has 
thus assumed is also to be assumed by us and by you. Your 
laws and regulations, therefore, and also all your executive 
proceedings in relation to the admission and settlement of 
Europeans, like that law of the Imperial Legislature out of 
which they grow, must generally speaking and on the whole 
be framed on a principle not of restriction but of encourage- 
ment. The conditions which you shall see fit to impose on 
private persons coming from Europe for the highly proper 
purpose of placing and keeping them within the supervision of 
an all-seeing Police, must not be more than necessary for that 
object. The regulations which you shall make with the just 
and humane design of protecting the natives from ill-treatment 
must not be such as to harrass the European with any unneces- 
sary restraints or to give him uneasiness by the display of 
improper distrust and suspicion. Laws passed in such a spirit 
tend to produce the very mischiefs which they aim at preven- 
ting. To the evil-minded they suggest evil ; they furnish the 
discontented with materials or pretexts for clamor, and they 
irritate the peacably disposed into hostility. 

57. The means which the present Act affords you of 
applying the remedy referred to are set forth in the 43rd, 45th 
and 46th Clauses. By the first of these, the laws and regulations 
which you make under the Act are to bind all Courts of Justice 
whether chartered by the King or not, and their jurisdictions, 
and also all places and things throughout the territories of 
British India. By the 45th Clause your laws and Regulations 
are to be taken notice of by all Courts of Justice within those 
territories and they need not be registered in any Court. By 
the 46th Clause you are restrained from making without our 
previous sanction any Law or Regulation which shall empower 
any Courts other than those chartered by the king to sentence 
British subjects, or their children to death, or which shall 
abolish the Courts so chartered. In respect to the last-men- 
tioned clause we certainly should not without much consideration 
give our sanction to the important changes there referred to ; 
and for the present those changes may be regarded as out of 
view. * * * * Your Laws and Regulations no longer 
require to be authenticated by registration in the Supreme 
Courts, and they, notwithstanding bind those Courts and must 
be noticed by them without being specially pleaded or proved. 
This is the known privilege of sovereign legislation. Beyond 



70 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

this you are expressly authorized to make laws for the jurisdic- 
tion of the Supreme Courts, a most material qualification as 
we conceive of the inability to abolish them ; since in virtue 
of this authority you may reduce the extent or circumscribe 
the sphere of their judicial power in any degree consistent with 
their retaining their essential character. 

58. With regard to British-born subjects, when the Act 
says that you shall not pass laws making them capitally punish- 
able otherwise than by the King's Courts, it does by irresisti- 
ble implication authorize you to subject them in all other crim- 
inal respects and in all civil respects whatever to the ordinary 
tribunals of the Country. We know not indeed that there is 
any crime for which within this Clause, they may not be made 
amenable to the Country tribunals, provided that the law in 
giving those tribunals jurisdiction over the crime, shall empower 
them to award to it some other punishment than death. 

59. From these premises there are some practical inferen- 
ces to which we must call your attention. First we are decidedly 
of opinion that all British-born subjects throughout India 
should forthwith be subjected to the same tribunals with the 
Natives. It is of course implied in this proposition that in the 
interior they shall be subjected to the Mofussil Courts. So long 
as Europeans, penetrating into the interior held their places 
purely by the tenure of sufferance, and bore in some sense the 
character of delegates from a foreign power, there might be 
some reason for exempting them from the authority of those 
judicatures to which the great body of the inhabitants were sub- 
servient. But now that they are to become inhabitants of India, 
they must share in the judicial liabilities as well as in the civil 
rights pertaining to that capacity, and we conceive that their 
participation in both should commence at the same moment. 

60. It is not merely on principle that we arrive at this 
conclusion. The 8 5th Clause of the Act to which we have 
before referred, after reciting that the removal of restriction on 
the intercourse of Europeans with the country will render it 
necessary to provide against any mischiefs or dangers that may 
thence arise, proceeds to direct that you shall make laws for the 
protection of the Natives from insult and outrage an obligation 
which in our view you cannot possibly fulfil, unless you render 
both Natives and Europeans responsible to the same judicial 
control. There can be no equality of protection where justice 
is not equally and on equal terms accessible to all. 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 71 

61. In laying down this proposition however we must 
guard against misconception. Though an Englishman be made 
amenable to the same tribunal with the Native, and though his 
rights be placed under the same supervision and protection, it 
does not follow that those rights are to be determined by the 
same rule. It is not necessary for example that the property of 
an Englishman should descend by the Indian rather than by 
the English Law of Succession. In cases of marriage the same 
tribunal may observe one rule in respect to the Englishman, 
another in respect to the Mussulman, and a third in respect to 
the Hindoo. Even in criminal cases, where such distinctions are 
least desirable, they may yet sometimes be necessary, since it is 
conceivable that what would operate as a severe penalty to a 
Hindoo, would be felt as none by an Englishman. But varian- 
ces like these do not affect the main principle. The maxim 
still remains that justice is to be distributed to men of every 
Race, Creed, and Color, according to its essence, and with as 
little diversity of circumstances as possible. 

62. Secondly, in looking forward to the effect of making 
Englishman triable by the Mofussil Courts you will do well to 
take into your renewed and very serious consideration a question 
often mooted, and even partially discussed, though as yet 
undecided. We mean whether or not the use of Juries in Crim- 
inal Trials should be introduced into the Provinces. We would 
not blindly yield to the opinion or the prejudice that it is the 
inalienable right of an Englishman under a Criminal accusation 
to be tried by a Jury. The only inalienable ri^ht of an accused 
Englishman is justice ; and if he resides in the Interior 
of India, he must be content with such justice as is dispensed 
to the Natives. But the prospect of an increased residence of 
Englishmen in the Interior, considering their known attachment 
to the principle of this Institution, forms an additional reason 
for the consideration of the expediency or inexpediency of 
adopting it generally. 

63. Even, however, if it be so adopted, it is neither necess- 
ary nor expedient that the jury Trial which may be established 
in India, should be an exact copy of that which subsists in 
England. Whatever may be the prejudices of Englishmen we 
strongly deprecate the transfer to India of all the peculiarities 
of our Criminal Judicature. We are not satisfied that these 
peculiarities are virtues. There is no inherent perfection in the 
number twelve, nor any mysterious charm in an enforced un- 



72 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

animity of opinion, and legislating for the Indian people, we 
should be apt to seek for precedents in the ancient usages of India, 
rather than in the modern practice of England. The system 
of Criminal Judicature which you adopt must be formed with 
an especial regard to the advantage of the Natives, rather than 
of the New Settlers, not because the latter are in themselves 
less worthy of consideration, but because they are comparatively 
few, and Laws and Institutions exist for the benefit not of the 
few but of the many. 

76. We have now completed all that we deem it necessary 
to say at present regarding the legislation to be exercised, and 
the laws to be made, in India. We will proceed to consider 
the new relation in which you will be placed with reference to 
the subordinate Governments, not by means of your legislative 
supremacy, but in other respects. 

77. The words of the 39th Clause are very comprehensive : 
'The superintendence, direction, and control of the whole civil 
and military Government of all the said territories and revenues 
in India shall be vested in the said Governor-General in Coun- 
cil.' 

78. The powers here conveyed, when the words are inter- 
preted in all their latitude, include the whole powers of Govern- 
ment. And it is of infinite importance that you should well 
consider and understand the extent of the responsibility thus 
imposed upon you. The whole civil and military Government 
of India is in your hands, and for what is good or evil in the 
administration of it, the honour or dishonour will redound upon 
you. 

79. With respect to the exercise of your legislative powers 
in the several Presidencies, what we have adduced of a general 
nature on that subject will, for the present, suffice. 

80. With respect to the other powers which you are 
called upon to exercise, it will be incumbent upon you to draw, 
with much discrimination and reflection, the correct line 
between the functions which properly belong to a local and 
subordinate Government and those which belong to the general 
Government ruling over and superintending the whole. 

* The only Local Governments which then existed were the Presidencies of 
Madras and Bombay. The Bengal Presidency was at that time directly under the 
Governor-General in Council. 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 73 

8 1. When this line is improperly drawn, the consequence 
is either that the general Government interferes with the pro- 
vince of the local Government, and enters into details which it 
cannot manage, and which preclude its consideration of more 
important objects ; or that it withdraws its attention from the 
evidence of many things which may be right or wrong in the 
general course of the local administration, and thus partially 
deprives the State of the benefit of its superintendence and control. 

82. It is true that the former Acts of Parliament, which 
made the Local Government of Bengal a supreme Government, 
gave the Governor-General in Council a control and superinten- 
dence over the other Presidencies as complete and paramount 
as it was possible for language to convey, and this we must 
assume to have been the intention of the Legislature. In 
practice, however, the Supreme Government made little exer- 
cise of its superintending authority, and the result has been 
that even that little exercise of it has been generally made when 
it was too late to be made with real effect, namely, after the 
subordinate Government had taken its course ; thus losing the 
character of control and responsibility, and retaining only that 
of ex post facto intervention a sort of intervention always in- 
vidious, and in most cases nothing but invidious, because what 
was already done, however open to censure, was beyond the 
reach of recall or correction. 

83. It is evidently the object of the present Act to carry 
into effect that intention of the Legislature to which we have 
alluded. Invested as you are with all the powers of Govern- 
ment over all parts of India, and responsible for good govern- 
ment in them all, you are to consider to what extent, and in 
what particulars, the powers of Government can be best exer- 
cised by the local authorities, and to what extent, and in what 
particulars, they are likely to be best exercised when retained in 
your own hands. With respect to that portion of the business 
of Government which you fully confide to the local authorities, 
and with which a minute interference on your part would not 
be beneficial, it will be your duty to have always before you 
evidence sufficient to enable you to judge if the course of things 
in general is good, and to pay such vigilant attention to that 
evidence as will ensure your prompt interposition whenever any- 
thing occurs which demands it. 

84. In general it is to be recollected that in all cases 
where there are gradations of authority the right working of the 

10 



74 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

system must very much depend on the wisdom and moderation 
of the supreme authority and also of the subordinate authorities. 
This is especially true of fc system so peculiar as that of our 
Indian Empire. It was impossible for the Legislature, and it 
is equally so for us in our instructions, to define the exact 
limits between a just control and a petty, vexatious, meddling 
interference. We rely on the practical good sense of our 
Governor-General in Council, and of our other Governors, for 
carrying the law into effect in a manner consonant with its 
spirit, and we see no reason to doubt the possibility of preserv- 
ing to every subordinate Government its due rank and power, 
without impairing or neutralising that of the highest. 

85. The subordinate Governments will correspond directly 
with us as formerly, but we think that you should immediately 
receive copies of all their more important letters to us, both as 
part of the evidence of their proceedings which you should have 
before you, and that we may have the benefit of the observations 
which you may have to make, and which we desire that you 
will always despatch to us with the smallest possible delay. 

86. It will be for you to determine what part of their 
records, or what other documents, it will be necessary for you 
regularly to receive as evidence of the general proceedings of 
the subordinate Governments, and as an index to the other 
documents which you will have occasion to call for when any- 
thing occurs which you desire to investigate. 

96. Nothing is fixed by the Legislature with regard to the 
seat of Government in the Agra Presidency. The City of Agra 
is pointed out by the name adopted, and by the obvious advan- 
tage of elevating to this distinction, a capital of great antiquity 
and celebrity, but the consideration of preponderant convenience 
is not therefore excluded. The points of chief importance are, 
the salubrity of the place, its locality with respect to the 
territories which the Presidency is to comprise, and the expense 
which will be required in Buildings and Roads. Comparative 
advantage in these respects should determine the choice. 

97. The Legislature has left the seat of the Supreme 
Government, both permanent and temporary, to its own choice. 
The important circumstance, however, of making the Governor- 
General local Governor of Bengal, renders it necessary that his 
habitual residence should be in the place where he can best 
perform both sets of his duties, that is, in Bengal. We have no 
doubt, therefore, that you will concur with us in thinking the 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 75 

seat of the Supreme Government should be at Calcutta, where 
your records are now deposited, and where the requisite Buil- 
dings, public and private, already exist. 

98. It is true the Governor General may appoint a De- 
puty as Governor of Bengal. But this arrangement would 
need to be permanent, if the seat of the supreme Government 
were not in Bengal ; and in that there would be considerable 
difficulty. The Governor can appoint as his Deputy, only one 
of the ordinary members of the Supreme Council. But if one 
of the four ordinary members of the Supreme Council is taken 
away, three only remain. By express enactment also it is es- 
tablished, that three ordinary Members shall be present to 
constitute a Legislative Council. But the inconvenience of 
being unable to transact business without the presence of every 
Member of the Council must be obvious, especially in India, 
where the health of Europeans is so precarious. 

100. There is one function of Government, with respect to 
which it may be a question in what hands it should be lodged ; 
we mean the regulation and management of the external rela- 
tions. With respect to the great questions of peace and war, 
there is no room for deliberation. It is very obvious they 
should be determined wholly by the superintending Government 
which alone has under its eye the whole of the relations of the 
State. We think indeed that the diplomatic interests of the 
State will be placed with most advantage entirely in the hands 
of the Supreme Government ; and the patronage connected with 
that department will of course follow the duties. It does not 
follow, nor do we mean, that if, from proximity, or any other 
cause, a particular Residency, or a particular negotiation, can 
be better superintended by a local, than the general Govern- 
ment, the general Government should not delegate that 
superintendence. 

103. By clause 87 of the Act it is provided that no person 
by reason of his birth, creed, or colour, shall be disqualified from 
holding any office in our service. 

104. It is fitting that this important enactment should be 
understood in order that its full spirit and intention may be 
transfused through our whole system of administration. 

105. You will observe that its object is not to ascertain 
qualification, but to remove disqualification. It does not break 



76 THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. 

down or derange the scheme of our government as conducted 
principally through the instrumentality of our regular servants, 
civil and military. To do this would be to abolish or impair 
the rules which the legislature has established for securing the 
fitness of the functionaries in whose hands the main duties of 
Indian administration are to be reposed rules to which the 
present Act makes a material addition in the provisions rela- 
ting to the college at Haileybury. But the meaning of the 
enactment we take to be that there shall be no governing caste 
in British India ; that whatever other tests of qualification may 
be adopted, distinctions of race or religion shall not be of the 
number ; that no subject of the King, whether of Indian or 
British or mixed descent, shall be excluded either from the 
posts usually conferred on our uncovenanted servants in India, 
or from the covenanted service itself, provided he be otherwise 
eligible consistently with the rules and agreeably to the condi- 
tions observed and exacted in the one case and in the other. 

106. In the application of this principle, that which will 
chiefly fall to your share will be the employment of natives, 
whether of the whole or the mixed blood, in official situations. 
So far as respects the former class we mean natives of the 
whole blood it is hardly necessary to say that the purposes of 
the legislature have in a considerable degree been anticipated ; 
you well know, and indeed have in some important respects 
carried into effect, our desire that natives should be admitted to 
places of trust as freely and extensively as a regard for the due 
discharge of the functions attached to such places will permit. 
Even judicial duties of magnitude and importance are now 
confided to their hands, partly no doubt from considerations of 
economy, but partly also on the principles of a liberal and 
comprehensive policy ; still a line of demarcation, to some ex- 
tent in favour of the natives, to some extent in exclusion of 
them, has been maintained ; certain offices are appropriated to 
them, from certain others they are debarred not because these 
latter belong to the covenanted service, and the former do not 
belong to it, but professedly on the ground that the average 
amount of native qualifications can be presumed only to rise to 
a certain limit. It is this line of demarcation which the present 
enactment obliterates, or rather for which it substitutes another, 
wholly irrespective of the distinction of races. Fitness is hence- 
forth to be the criterion of eligibility. 

107. To this altered rule it will be necessary that you 



THE COURT OF DIRECTOR'S DESPATCH OF 1834. ?? 

should, both in your acts and your language, conform ; practi- 
cally, perhaps, no very marked difference of results will be 
occasioned. The distinction between situations allotted to the 
covenanted service and all other situations of an official or 
public nature will remain generally as at present. 

108. Into a more particular consideration of the effects 
that may result from the great principle which the legislature 
has now for the first time recognised and established we do not 
enter, because we would avoid disquisition of a speculative nature. 
But there is one practical lesson which, often as we have on 
former occasions inculcated it on you, the present subject 
suggests to us once more to enforce. While, on the one hand, 
it may be anticipated that the range of public situations access- 
ible to the natives and mixed races will gradually be enlarged, 
it is, on the other hand, to be recollected that, as settlers from 
Europe find their way into the country, this class of persons will 
probably furnish candidates for those very situations to which 
the natives and mixed race will have admittance. Men of 
European enterprise and education will appear in the field ; and 
it is by the prospect of this event that we are led particularly 
to impress the lesson already alluded to on your attention. In 
every view it is important that the indigenous people of India, 
or those among them who by their habits, character, or position 
may be induced to aspire to office, should as far as possible, 
be qualified to meet their European competitors. 

Thence, then, arises a powerful argument for the promotion of 
every design tending to the improvement of the natives, whether 
by conferring on them the advantages of education, or by diff- 
using among them the treasures of science, knowledge, and 
moral culture. For these desirable results, we are well aware 
that you, like ourselves, are anxious, and we doubt not that, in 
order to impel you to increased exertion for the promotion of 
them, you will need no stimulant beyond a simple reference to 
the considerations we have here suggested. 

109. While, however, we entertain these wishes and opi- 
nion, we must guard against the supposition that it is chiefly 
by holding out means and opportunities of official distinction 
that we expect our Government to benefit the millions subjected 
to their authority. We have repeatedly expressed to you a 
very different sentiment. Facilities of official advancement can 
little affect the bulk of the people under any Government, and 
perhaps least under a good Government. It is not by holding 



78 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1853. 

out incentives to official ambition, but by repressing crime, by 
securing and guarding property, by creating confidence, by 
ensuring to industry the fruit of its labour, by protecting men 
in the undisturbed enjoyment of their rights, and in the un- 
fettered exercise of their faculties, that Governments best 
minister to the public wealth and happiness. In effect, the free 
access to office is chiefly valuable when it is a part of general 
freedom. 



IV. THE CHARTER ACT OF 1853. 

(16 & 17 Viet. C. 95) 
A. 

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. 

(20th August, 1853) 

15. The provisions of the said Act of the Third and 

Fourth Years of King William the Fourth, 
4wT4?c P . r 8sfo i ??rea f t?ng relating to the Division of the Presidency 
a Presidency of Agra of Fort William in Bengal into Two Presi- 

wnich has been suspend* , -, ,. _ , 

edbys & 6 w. 4. c. 52., dencies, and to the Measures consequent 
sam r e e be ai revo s ked. ntil the thereupon, which have been suspended 
under the Authority of the Act of the 
Session holden in the Fifth and Sixth Years of King William 
the Fourth, Chapter Fifty-two, shall remain suspended until 
the Court of Directors, under the Direction and Control of the 
Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, shall otherwise 
direct ; and during the Continuance of such Suspension the 
Provisions of such last-mentioned Act, authorizing the Appoint- 
ment of a Lieutenant Governor for the North- Western Provin- 
ces, then under the Government of the Presidency of Fort Will- 
iam in Bengal, and the Appointments and Arrangements made 
thereunder, shall remain in full force. 

1 6. It shall be lawful for the said Court of Directors, 

under such Direction and Control as afore- 
A separate Governor said, if and when they think fit, at any 
puffi*** Time after the passing of this Act, to dec- 
lare that the Governor General of India 
shall not be Governor of the Presidency of Fort William in 
Bengal, but that a separate Governor shall be appointed for 
such Presidency, and in such Case a separate Governor shall be 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1853. 79 

from Time to Time appointed for such Presidency accordingly, 
in manner provided by the said Act of the 
in the meantime a Third and Fourth Years of King William 
maTb e e n appointe G d . vei the Fourth, in the Case of Vacancies happen- 
9 ing in the offices of the Governors of the 
Presidencies of Fort Saint George and Bombay ; and from and 
after the Appointment of such Governor, the Power by the said 
Act vested in the Governor General of India of appointing a 
Deputy Governor of the said Presidency of Fort William in 
Bengal shall cease ; and unless and until a separate Governor of 
such Presidency shall be constituted as aforesaid, it shall be law- 
ful for the Court of Directors, under such Direction and Control 
as aforesaid, if and when they think fit, at any Time after the 
passing of this Act, to authorize and direct the Governor General 
of India in Council to appoint from Time to Time any servant 
of the said Company who shall have been Ten years in their 
Service in India to the Office of Lieutenant Governor of such 
Part of the Territories under the Presidency of Fort William in 
Bengal as for the Time being may not be under the Lieutenant 
Governor of the said North-western Provinces, and to declare 
and limit the Extent of the Authority of the Lieutenant 
Governor to be so appointed. 

17. It shall be lawful for the Court of Directors of the 

said Company, under such Direction and 

Power to Directors to Control, if and when they think fit, to 

d r e e n a cy o? e to^uthoHse constitute One new Presidency within the 

SSSTTSSTuStaB Territories subject for the Time being to 

Governorship. the Government of the said Company, and 

to declare and appoint what Part of such 

Territories shall be subject to the Government of such new 
Presidency ; and unless and until such new Presidency be cons- 
tituted as aforesaid, it shall be lawful for the said Court of 
Directors, under such Direction and Control as aforesaid, if and 
when they think fit, to authorize (in addition to such Appoint- 
ments as are herein-before authorized to be continued and made 
for the Territories now and heretofore under the said Presi- 
dency of Fort William) the Appointment by the said Governor 
General in Council of a Lieutenant-Governor for any Part of the 
Territories for the Time being subject to the Government of the 
said Company, and to declare for what Part of the said Terri- 
tories such Lieutenant Governor shall be appointed, and the 
Extent of his Authority, and from Time to Time to revoke or 
alter any such Declaration. 



80 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1853. 

1 8. It shall be lawful for the said Court of Directors, 

under such Direction and Control as afore- 
SftfiS said, from Time to Time to declare and 
appoint what Part or Parts of the Terri- 

tones for the Time bejng subject to the 
Government of the said Company shall be or continue subject to 
each of the Presidencies and Lieutenant-Governorships for the 
Time being subsisting in such Territories, and to make such Dis- 
tribution and Arrangement or new Distribution and Arrangement 
of such Territories into or among such Presidencies or Lieute- 
nant Governorships as to the said Court of Directors, under such 
Direction and Control as aforesaid, may seem expedient. 

19. The Provisions of the said Act of the Third and 
Fourth Years of King William the Fourth, as amended by this 
Act, and all other Provisions now in force for the Administra- 
tion of the Executive Government of the Presidencies of Fort 
Saint George and Bombay respectively, and authorizing the 

Revocation and Suspension of the Ap- 

exisl^ng^elidencuf to pointment of Councils and the Reduction 
extend to new Presiden- o f t h e Number of Councillors in such 

Presidencies respectively, and as to the 

Powers, Duties, Functions, and Immunities of the Governors of 
such Presidencies respectively, and of such Governors in their 
respective Councils, and concerning or applicable to the Ap- 
pointment and provisional Appointment of Governors and 
Members of Council of the said Presidencies respectively on 
Vacancies, and otherwise providing for Vacancies in the office 
of any such Governor, and concerning the Removal and Dis- 
missal of such Governors and Members of Council, and the 
Revocation of Appointments and provisional Appointments of 
Governors and Members of Council of such Presidencies, and 
concerning the Salaries and Emoluments of such Governors 
and Members of Council, shall extend and be applicable in 
like Manner to and in the Case of any new Presidency to be 
established as aforesaid under this Act, and also to and in the 
Case of the Presidency of Agra, in case the same be constitu- 
ted under the Provisions of the said Act of the Third and 
Fourth Years of King William the Fourth ; and the said 
Provisions concerning Appointments of Governors and Members 
of Council on Vacancies, as amended by this Act, shall extend 
and be applicable to and for the first Appointment of a Gover- 
nor and Members of Council of such new Presidency and the 
Presidency of Agra aforesaid. 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1853. &I 

20. Every Appointment by the Court of Directors of any 

ordinary Member of the Council of India, 
cSuobJ or of any Member of the Council of any 
Majesty* f by Her Presidency in India, shall be subject to the 

Approbation of Her Majesty, to be signi- 
fied under Her Royal Sign Manual countersigned by the Presi- 
dent of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India. 

21. So much of the said Act of the Third and Fourth 

Years of King William the Fourth as 
AS to excluding Fourth provides that the Fourth Ordinary Member 

Ordinary Member from l . , _ .. r T .. in , i 

certain Meetings. of the Council of India shall not be en- 

titled to sit or vote in the said Council, ex- 
cept at Meetings thereof for making Laws and Regulations, 
shall be repealed. 

22. For the better Exercise of the Powers of making 

Laws and Regulations, now vested in the 
iors^ e dded a Vo V ?he C coSncii Governor General of India in Council, the 
and n Re a g f uiationsT Laws several Persons herein- after mentioned 

shall, in addition to and together with such 
Governor General and the Members of the said Council, under 
the said Act of the Third and Fourth Years of King William 
the Fourth, be Members of the said Council of India for and 
in relation to the Exercise of all such Powers of making Laws 
and Regulations as aforesaid, and shall be distinguished as 
Legislative Councillors thereof ; (that is to say,) 

One member for each Presidency and Lieutenant Governor- 
ship for the Time being established in the said Territories, to 
be appointed from Time to Time by the Governor of such 
Presidency and the Lieutenant Governor of such Lieutenant 
Governorship respectively, from among the Persons having 
been or being at the Time of their Appointment in the Civil 
Service of such Company within such Presidency or Lieutenant 
Governorship, and who shall have been Ten Years in the 
Service of the said Company : 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at 
Fort William in Bengal, or the Chief Justice or Chief Judge of 
any Court of Judicature hereafter to be constituted in the said 
Territories to or in which the Powers of such Supreme Court 
may be transferred or vested : 

One of the other Judges of such Supreme Court, or One 
of the Judges appointed by Her Majesty of any such future 
Court as aforesaid, to be named by the said Governor General. 

ii 



82 THE CHARTER ACT OF 1853. 

And it shall be lawful for the Court of Directors, if they 
think it expedient, under the Direction and Control of the 
Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India, to authorize 
and direct the Governor General of India to appoint from Time 
to Time, in addition to such Legislative Councillors as afore- 
said, Two Persons, to be selected by the said Governor General, 
having been Ten Years in the Service of 

but only to vote at & , T . . ~ ... 

meetings for that pur- the Company, to be Legislative Councillors 
of the said Council under this Act : Pro- 
vided always, that the Legislative Councillors added to the 
Council of India by or under this Act shall not be entitled to 
sit or vote in the said Council, except at Meetings thereof for 
making Laws and Regulations. 

23. It shall be lawful for such Governor General to 
appoint any Member of the said Council to be Vice-President 
thereof at Meetings of the said Council for making Laws and 
Regulations who shall preside therein at such Meetings in the 
Absence of such Governor General, and in the Absence of such 
Vice-President the senior ordinary Member of the Council of 
India there present shall preside therein ; and the Powers of 
making Laws or Regulations vested in the said Governor 
General in Council shall be exercised only at meetings of the 
said Council, at which such Governor General or Vice-President 

or some Ordinary Member of Council, and 
Six or more Members of the said Council, 
" oJSiSoS sha11 be assembled, the Chief Justice, or 
for Chief Judge, or such other Judge of the 
Supreme Court or such other Court as 
aforesaid, or The Fourth Ordinary Member of the said Council 
of India, being One ; and in every Case of Difference of Opinion 
at Meetings of the said Council for making Laws and Regula- 
tions, where there shall be an Equality of Voices, the Governor 
General, or in his Absence the Vice-President, and in the 
absence of the Governor General and the Vice-President such 
senior ordinary Member of Conncil there present and presiding, 
shall have Two Votes or the Casting Vote. 

24. Provided always, That no Law or Regulation made 

by the said Council shall have Force or 

Governor-General's / .. . . 

assent requisite to vail- be promulgated until the same has been 
assented to by the said Governor General, 
whether he shall or shall not have been present in Council at 
the making thereof. 



THE CHARTER ACT OF 1853. 83 

26. No Law or Regulation made by the Governor 
General in Council shall be invalid by 
reason only that the same affects any Pre- 
<Sow^ eroffative f the rogative o f the Crown, provided such Law 
or Regulation shall have received the 
previous Sanction of the Crown, signified under the Royal 
Sign Manual of Her Majesty, countersigned by the President 
of the Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India. 

33. 'And whereas by the said Act of the Third and 
Fourth Years of King William the Fourth 
Bo S a a r"o y f con P troL dent f * is enacted, that the President of the 
Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of 
India, but no other Commissioner, as such, and the Secretaries 
and other Officers, shall be paid by the said Company such 
fixed Salaries as His Majesty shall, by any. Warrant or War- 
rants under His Sign Manual, countersigned by the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer for the Time being, direct :' Be it enacted, 
That such fixed Salary of the said President of the Board of 
Commissioners shall in no Case be less than the Salary which 
shall be paid to One of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of 
State ; and that only One of the said Secretaries to the said 
Board shall be capable of being elected or sitting and voting 
in Parliament. 

35. There shall be paid to the several Officers herein- 
after named the several annual Salaries set 
against the Names of such Officers respect- 
ively, subject to such Reduction as the Court of Directors, with 
the Sanction of the said Board, may from Time to Time think 
fit ; (that is to say,) 

To the Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in India, One 
hundred thousand Company's Rupees, in lieu of all other Pay 
and Allowances : 

To each Lieutenant Governor, One hundred thousand 
Company's Rupees : 

To each ordinary Member of the Council of India, Eighty 
thousand Company's Rupees : 

To each Legislative Councillor of the Council of India 
(not holding any other Office), Fifty thousand Company's 
Rupees : 

The several Salaries aforesaid to be subject to the Provi- 
sions and Regulations of the said Act of the Third and Fourth 



84 SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1853. 

Years of King William the Fourth, concerning the Salaries 
thereby appointed : Provided always, that the Salary of any such 
Officer appointed before the passing of this Act shall not under 
this Enactment be reduced. 



EXTRACTS FROM SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH. 

In moving (June 3, 1853) for leave to bring in a Bill for the 
Government of India, SIR CHARLES WOOD, in the course of a 
long speech, said : 

"I need not trouble the House with any lengthened re- 
marks upon the subject of the position of the Governor General, 
because, according to the concurrent testimony of all the wit- 
nesses, there is not much changejrequired. LORD DALHOUSIE is 
of opinion that no change is necessary. The questions that 
have arisen on more than one occasion as to the relative powers 
of the Governor General and his Council have been settled by 
the opinions of the law officers here, and the orders which have 
been sent from the Court of Directors ; and it seems quite 
unnecessary to make any change in this respect. The only 
alteration in the position of the Governor General which we 
propose to make is this. It appears from the whole of the evi- 
dence, that, entrusted as he is both with the Government of 
India and the Government of Bengal, he has more duties to 
attend to than he can fairly discharge. We propose, therefore, 
to relieve him of the administration of the province of Bengal. 
But we do not propose that any change should be made in the 
general control which he exercises over the whole of the Indian 
Government. Complaints have been made by some witnesses 
on behalf of the other Presidencies, of the unnecessary check on 
useful expenditure which they say is imposed upon them by the 
Governor General. But this does not appear to be borne out 
by the facts. If the Governor General was likely unfairly to 
favour one Presidency more than another, it would naturally be 
the one under his own immediate superintendence that of 
Bengal. But the very reverse is the fact. It seems from a 
return which was prepared of the comparative expenditure for 
public works (and this was the question as to which the com- 
plaints were made), that the greatest expenditure for this purpose 
was in the North-western Provinces, the next in Madras, the 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1853. 85 

next in Bombay, and the least of all in Bengal. I do not think, 
however, that under any circumstances this is a matter for legis- 
lation, but is clearly a matter of discretion, which must be left to 
the Government in India to settle. Perhaps the existing limit 
on the expenditure to be incurred by the Governors of the minor 
Presidencies might be somewhat extended ; but it should not 
be forgotten that the wasteful expenditure of these Presidencies 
before the Act of 1833, was one of the main reasons stated by 
LORD GLENELG for the change in the Government of India, 
rendering absolutely necessary the control on the part of the 
Supreme Government. 

Another point has been raised as to the absence of the 
Governor General from Calcutta without his Council. That, 
again, I think, is a matter for discretion, and not for legislation. 
There are cases where it is desirable that the Governor 
General should leave Calcutta. When LORD HARDINGE, for 
example, went up with the army, it was clearly for the benefit of 
India that he should do so ; and when LORD DALHOUSIE went 
up to the Punjaub, it was also clearly for the interest of India 
that he should be there and not at Calcutta ; and there can be 
no doubt that his presence on the spot contributed essentially 
to the speedy and successful settlement of those districts. When 
the Governor General goes away from Calcutta on such occa- 
sions, he generally takes with him, as it is called, the political 
and military powers, which enable him to direct the political 
movements in India ; but he leaves with his Council at Calcutta 
all the powers necessary for conducting the general administra- 
tion of India. This portion of the duty of the Supreme Govern- 
ment they are perfectly competent to perform, and the incon- 
venience and interruption to business is avoided, which would 
inevitably result from moving the Council and all its attendant 
functionaries from the permanent seat of Government at 
Calcutta. No doubt, it is desirable that the Governor General 
should be as much at Calcutta as possible ; but this is a matter, 
as I before said, which must be left to the discretion of the 
Governor General and Council, for no fixed regulations can be 
laid down which might not subject both the Governor General 
and the Empire to considerable inconvenience. 

With regard to the Executive Council, we propose no 
change except that the members shall be named by the Court 
of Directors, with the check of the approbation of the Crown ; 
and that the fourth ordinary member, or the "legislative coun- 



86 SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1853. 

cillor," as he is called, shall sit and vote upon all subjects 
brought under the consideration of the Council. 

The evidence is uniformly in favour of the establishment 
of a permanent Lieutenant Governor in Bengal. The interests 
of the Presidency are stated in many cases to have suffered 
from the want of a permanent officer superintending the various 
matters connected with its administration ; and as it is desirable 
to relieve the Governor General of the labour of this duty, and 
will clearly be to the advantage of the district, we propose that 
power should be taken to appoint a Lieutenant Governor of 
Bengal. The evidence is, I think, in favour of maintaining the 
other Presidencies as they are at present. I think there is con- 
siderable advantage in sending out to these governments states- 
men from England. The position of the Governors there is 
very different from that of the Lieutenant Governor in the 
Upper Provinces. There is a large European population both 
at Bombay and Madras, a separate civil service, distinct armies, 
separate courts of judicature, and it is essential, I think, that 
the Governors in these places should be in a somewhat higher 
position than that of Lieutenant Governor, and therefore we 
propose to leave these Presidencies with their Governors and 
their Councils as they stand, the appointment of Governor being 
open, as now, either to Indian servants or to statesmen from 
this country. LORD W. BENTINCK, one of the best of our 
Governors General, had the advantage of having been at an 
early period Governor of Madras. We propose to continue the 
present power of having a Governor, or a Lieutenant Governor 
in the North Western provinces ; and we propose also to take 
power of creating, if it should hereafter be found desirable, a 
new Presidency or Lieutenant Governorship in India ; and 
power also to regulate and alter from time to time the boun- 
daries and limits of the respective Presidencies or Lieutenant 
Governorships. In taking this power, I am looking, of course, to 
the large districts of the Punjab and the provinces of the Indus, 
which have been added to our territories since 1833 ; but I 
wish to leave it open to the Government to make any arrange- 
ment of the Provinces which may, after full consideration, be 
found most convenient for their due administration. I believe 
that this is all I need say about the Executive Government of 
India, except that the evidence, as far as it has been taken, is, 
that it would not he desirable to place natives in the Council. 

I come, now, to matters of legislation and legal reforms. 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1853. 87 

With respect to the Law Commission appointed in 1833, I have 
stated that no practical result followed from their labours, and 
that there are great defects in the law of India as it now stands. 
We think it very desirable that the mass of Reports and partly 
framed Acts which remain of the labours of that Commission 
should be put into a shape to be practically useful. We have 
the advantage of having in this country three or four gentlemen 
who took an active part in that Commission ; and we propose, 
in the first place, from those gentlemen and two or three 
members of the English Bar, with other gentlemen who have 
kindly volunteered their services, to appoint a temporary Com- 
mission, whose labours shall be limited to two, or at most to 
three years, to digest and put into shape the Reports and Drafts 
which have emanated from that Commission. Of course I do 
not propose to invest them with any legislative power. The 
legislation of India must take place in India, and for that pur- 
pose we propose to improve and to enlarge the Legislative 
Council. We think, however, that the greatest advantage will 
be derived from having this mass of matter properly digested 
here by competent persons, put into the form of Draft Acts, 
and then sent out to be finally considered and passed by 
a competent Legislative Council in India. 

Upon the manner of improving the Legislative Council, 
the witnesses are unanimous. We propose to constitute a 
Legislative Council in this manner : The Governor of each of 
the Presidencies, or the Lieutenant Governor of each of the 
Lieutenant Governorships, will select one member of the civil 
service of his own district. These gentlemen, and also the 
Chief Justice and one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, or 
of the Court which, as I shall by and by explain, we propose to 
constitute, to be chosen by the Governor General, will be mem- 
bers of the Legislative Council. These persons, in addition to 
the Executive Council as it is now constituted, will make a body 
of twelve, which we think will be sufficient for the purposes of 
legislation ; but we propose to take a power of adding two civil 
servants, to be selected from all India by the Governor General, 
if it should be found desirable. It was stated by LORD ELLEN- 
BOROUGH, in his evidence, that great inconvenience frequently 
arose in consequence of there being no member of the Legis- 
lative Council at Calcutta who knew anything of the manners 
and customs of other parts of India. This inconvenience will 
be removed by the selection of members from the other 
Presidencies ; and although it is not proposed that these 



88 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1854. 

members shall have seats in the Executive Council, there will 
be this further advantage, that they will supply information to 
the Governor General and his Council in their executive capa- 
city as to all matters connected with those parts of the country 
from which they come. The members of the civil service will 
bring with them that intimate acquaintance with the manners 
and customs of the people of India which is so requisite towards 
promoting sound legislation. There will also be the advantage 
of having in the Council three persons of legal education from 
England, two of the Judges of the Supreme or other Superior 
Court, and the Legislative Councillor. I hope that the result of 
this will be to introduce that improved spirit of legislation with 
which it is probable all those going from this country to India 
will be thoroughly imbued ; and with this admixture of English 
legal knowledge and skill, and of the intimate acquaintance 
possessed by the Indian civil servants of the customs and man- 
ners and wants of the different parts of India, we trust that a 
legislative body will be constructed fully equal to the discharge 
of its high and important duties. We propose to give the 
Governor General a veto on their legislation, which he possesses 
indeed now when absent from his Council, but not when present. 



V. THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1854. 

(17 and 1 8 Viet, c. 77.) 

AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE MODE OF PASSING LET- 
TERS PATENT AND OTHER ACTS OF THE CROWN RE- 
LATING TO INDIA, AND FOR VESTING CERTAIN POWERS IN 

THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA IN COUNCIL. (7TH 
AUGUST 1854.) 

"Whereas Doubts may arise as to the mode of passing 
Letters Patent and other Acts of the Crown relating to India 
in certain cases where Her Majesty's Pleasure is to be signified 
under Her Royal Sign manual, and it is expedient to remove 
such Doubts, and to provide an uniform Mode of proceeding 
in such cases : And whereas it is expedient to provide for the 
Administration by the Governor General of India in Council 
of such Parts of the Territories for the Time being under the 
Government of the East India Company as it may not be 
advisable to include in any Presidency or Lieutenant-Governor- 
ship, and to vest in such Governor General of India in Council 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1854. 89 

the Powers now vested in the Governor of the Presidency of 
Fort William in Bengal :" Be it enacted and declared, therefore, 
by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the 
Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and 
Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the 
Authority of the same as follows : 

3. It shall be lawful for the Governor General of India in 

Council, with the Sanction and Approba- 
tion of the Court of Directors of the East 
India Company, acting under the control 
General of India in Coun- and direction of the Board of Commis- 
sioners for the Affairs of India from time 
to time, by Proclamation duly published, to take under the im- 
mediate Authority and Management of the said Governor 
General of India in Council any part or parts of the Territories 
for the Time being in the possession or under the Government 
of the said Company, and thereupon to give all necessary 
Orders and Directions respecting the Administration of such 
part or parts of the said Territories, or otherwise to provide for 
the Administration thereof : Provided always, that no Law or 
Regulation in force at any such Time as regards any such Por- 
tion of Territory shall be altered or repealed except by Law or 
Regulation made by the Governor General of India in Council. 

4. It shall be lawful for the said Governor-General of 

India in Council, with the like Sanction and 
Hn?ir e the r0 pSwe a rs m o : f Approbation, from time to time, to de- 
Qovemors herein named, clare and limit the Extent of the Authority 

of the Governor in Council, Governor, or 
Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, or of Agra, or the North-west 
Provinces, who is now or may be hereafter appointed. 

5. All Powers now or at any time vested in or exercised 

by the Governor in Council, or Governor 
certain Powers trans- o f the Presidency of Fort William in 

ferred to the Governor , J .. ^ ~ 

General in council. Bengal, or in or by the Governor General 

of India in Council in respect of such 
Presidency, and which for the time being shall not have been 
transferred to the Governor in Council, Governor, or Lieutenant 
Governor of Bengal, or of Agra, or the North-west Provinces, 
shall be vested in and may be exercised by the Governor 
General of India in Council, and the Governor General of India 
shall no longer be the Governor of the said Presidency of Fort 
William in Bengal. 

12 



90 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

7. In the construction of this Act "India" shall be 
construed to mean the Territories for the time being in the 
possession and under Government of the East India Company. 



VI. THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

(21 and 22 Viet, C. 106) 

A. 

AN ACT FOR THE BETTER GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, 
[2ND AUGUST, 1858]. 

Whereas by the Government of India Act, 1853, the 

territories in the possession and under the 

16 and 17 vict., c. 95 Government of the East India Company 

were continued under such Government, 

in trust for Her Majesty, until Parliament should otherwise 

provide, subject to the provisions of that Act, and of other 

Acts of Parliament, and the property and rights in the said 

Act referred to are held by the said Company in trust for Her 

Majesty for the purpose of the said Government : 

And whereas it is expedient that the said territories should 
be governed by and in the name of Her Majesty, Be it 
enacted etc. 

i. The Government of the territories now in the possession 

or under the Government of the East 

G^^en^orthe'E^t India Company and all powers in relation 

vested in He? a Majes t ty be * Government vested in, or exercised by, 

the said Company in trust for Her Majesty, 

shall cease to be vested in, or exercised by, the said Company 

And all territories in the possession or under the Govern- 
ment of the said Company, and all rights 
ciaed inTeVnlme 6 *~ vested in, or which if this Act had not been 
passed might have been exercised by, the 
said Company in relation to any territories, shall become vested 
in Her Majesty, and be exercised in her name ; And for the 
purpose of this Act India shall mean the territories vested in 
Her Majesty as aforesaid, and all territories which may become 
vested in Her Majesty by virtue of any such rights as aforesaid. 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 91 

2. India shall be governed by and in the name of Her 

Majesty ; And all rights in relation to 
India to be governed by any territories which might have been 
' " " exercised by the said Company if this Act 
had not been passed shall and may be 
exercised by and in the name of Her Majesty as rights 
incidental to the Government of India ; And all the 
territorial and other revenues of or arising in India and all 
tributes and other payments in respect of any territories which 
would have been receivable by or in the name of the said 
Company if this Act had not been passed shall be received for 
and in the name of Her Majesty, and shall be applied and 
disposed of for the purposes of the Government of India 
alone, subject to the provisions of this Act. 

3. Save as herein otherwise provided, one of Her Majesty's 

Principal Secretaries of State shall have 
exe?cise ar powerf tat now and perform all such or the like powers 
company. by the and duties in anywise relating to the 

Government or revenues ot India, and all 
such or the like powers over all officers appointed or continued 
under this Act, as might or should have been exercised or 
performed by the East India Company, or by the Court of 
Directors or Court of Proprietors of the said Company, either 
alone or by the direction or with the sanction or approbation 
of the Commissioners for the Affairs of India in relation to such 
government or revenues, and the officers and servants of the 
said Company respectively, and all such powers as might have 
been exercised by the said Commissioners alone ; 

And any warrant of writing under Her Majesty's Royal 

Sign Manual which by the Government 

counter-signing of of India Act, 1854, or otherwise, is required 

warrant ,;,:: vid t o be counter-signed by the President of 

the Commissioners for the Affairs of India, 

shall in lieu of being so countersigned be countersigned by one 

of Her Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State. 

6. In case Her Majesty be pleased to appoint a fifth 

Principal Secretary of State, there shall 

salaries of one be paid out of the revenues of India to such 

Secretary of State and hf a n t a rc-^. JI-TTJ 

under Secretaries to be Principal Secretary of State and his Under 
the revenues Secretaries respectively the like yearly 
salaries as may for the time being be paid 



92 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

to any other of such Secretaries of State and his Under 
Secretaries respectively. 

7. For purposes of this Act a Council shall be established, to 

consist of fifteen members, and to be styled 
established. f India the Council of India ; And henceforth the 

Council of *lndia now bearing that name 
shall be styled the Council of the Governor-General of India. 

8. Within fourteen days after the passing of this Act 
the Court of Directors of the East India Company shall from 
among the persons then being Directors of the said Company 
or having been theretofore such Directors, elect seven persons 
to be with the persons to be appointed by Her Majesty as 
hereinafter mentioned the first Members of the Council under 
this Act. ****** 

9. Every vacancy happening from time to time among 
the Members of the Council appointed by Her Majesty, not 
being Members so appointed by reason of the Refusal or 
Neglect of the Court of Directors or the refusal to accept office 
hereinbefore mentioned, shall be filled up by Her Majesty, by 
Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, and every other 
vacancy shall be filled up by the Council by election made at 
a meeting to be held for that purpose. 

10. The major part of the persons to be elected by the 

Court of Directors and the major' part of 
The major part of the the persons to be first appointed by Her 

Council to be persons - . r . .. . * A r . . \ 

who shall have served or Majesty after the passing of this Act to 

resided ten years in be members of the Council, shall be 

persons who shall have served or resided 
in India for ten years at the least, and (excepting in the case 
of late and present Directors and Officers on the Home 
establishment of the East India Company who shall have so 
served or resided), shall not have last left India more than ten 
years next preceding the date of their appointment ; And no 
person other than a person so qualified shall be appointed 
or elected to fill any vacancy in the Council unless at the time 
of the appointment or election nine at the least of the conti- 
nuing members of the Council be persons qualified as aforesaid. 

11. Every member of the Council appointed or elected 

under this Act shall hold his office during 
. good behaviour ; Provided that it shall 
be lawful for Her Majesty to remove any 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 93 

such member from his office upon an address of both Houses 
of Parliament. 

12. No member of the Council appointed or elected under 
Members of Council this Act shall be capable of sitting or 

not to sit in Parliament, voting in Parliament. 

13. There shall be paid to each member of the Council 
salaries of Members the yearly salary of one thousand two 

of council. hundred pounds out of the revenues of 

India. 

14. Any member of the Council may, by writing under 
his hand, which shall be recorded in the minutes of the Council, 
resign his office, and it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by 
Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, countersigned by the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, to grant to any person who, 
having held the office of Member of the Council for the period 
often years or upwards shall so resign by reason of infirmity 
disabling him from a due execution of the duties of the office, 
a retiring pension during life of five hundred pounds : Provided, 
that if at any time hereafter it would appear to Parliament 
expedient to reduce the number or otherwise deal with the 
Constitution of the said Council, no member of Council who 
has not served in his office for a period of ten years shall be 
entitled to claim any compensation for the loss of his office or 
for any alteration in the terms and conditions under which the 
same is held. 

19. The Council shall, under the direction of the Secretary 

of State, and subject to the provisions of 

Duties of the council, this Act, conduct the business transacted 

in the United Kingdom in relation to the 

Government of India and the correspondence with India. But 

every order or communication sent to India shall be signed 

by one of the Principal Secretaries of State ; And, save as 

expressly provided by this Act, every order in the United 

Kingdom in relation to the Government of India under this 

Act shall be signed by such Secretary of State ; And all 

despatches from Governments and Presidencies in India, and 

other despatches from India, which if this Act had not been 

passed should have been addressed to the Court of Directors or 

to their Secret Committee, shall be addressed to such Secretary 

of State. 



94 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

20. It shall be lawful for the Secretary of State to divide 

the Council into Committees for the more 
divi S dV?he ar cou f nciMntJ convenient transaction of business, and 
committees, and to from time to time to re-arrange such 
3fiSSl. e transacti n Committees, and to direct what depart- 

ments of the business in relation to the 
Government of India under this Act shall be under such 
Committees respectively, and generally to direct the manner in 
which all such business shall be transacted. 

21. The Secretary of State shall be the President of 

the Council, with power to vote ; And it 

President and Vice- chall HP lawful fnr Qiirh ^prr^tarxr rf 

President of the council. lawiui sucn secretary 

State in Council to appoint from time to 
time any member of such Council to be Vice-President thereof ; 
And any such Vice-President may at any time be removed 
by the Secretary of State. 

22. All powers by this Act required to be exercised by 

the Secretary of State in Council, and 
^Meetings of the coun- a ll powers of the Council, shall and may 

be exercised at meetings of such Council, 
at which not less than five members shall be present ; 
And at every meeting the Secretary of State, or in his 
absence the Vice-President, if present, shall preside ; and in the 
absence of the Secretary of State and Vice-President, one of 
the members of the Council present shall be chosen by the 
members present to preside at the meeting : And such Council 
may act notwithstanding any vacancy therein. Meetings of 
the Council shall be convened and held when and as the 
Secretary of State shall from time to time direct : Provided that 
one such meeting at least be held in every week. 

23. At any meeting of the Council at which the Secretary 

of State is present, if there be a difference 
ings! rocedure at meet " f pi n i n on any question other than the 

question of the election of a Member of 
Council, or other than any question with regard to which a 
majority of the votes at a meeting is hereinafter declared to be 
necessary, the determination of the Secretary of State shall be 
final ; And in case of an equality of votes at any meeting of the 
Council, the Secretary of State, if present and in his absence 
the Vice-President, or presiding member, shall have a casting 
vote ; And all acts done at any meeting of the Council in the 
absence of the Secretary of State, except the election of a 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 95 

Member of the Council, shall require the sanction or approval 
in writing of the Secretary of State ; And in case of difference 
of opinion on any question decided at any meeting, the 
Secretary of Sate may require that his opinion and the reasons 
for the same be entered in the minutes of the proceedings, 
and any Member of the Council who may have been present 
at the meeting may require that his opinion, and any reasons 
for the same that he may have stated at the meeting, be entered 
in like manner. 

24. Every order or communication proposed to be sent 

to India, and every order proposed to be 

tothr p Wl, C sai t0 of be M e p m" mad ^ in the United Kingdom by the 
bers of Council who may Secretary of State under this Act, shall, 

record their opinions. .\ , , , ... j , 

unless the same has been submitted to a 
meeting of the Council be placed in the Council room for the 
perusal of all members of the Council during seven days before 
the sending or making thereof, except in the cases hereinafter 
provided ; And it shall be lawful for any member of the 
Council to record in a minute book to be kept for that purpose 
his opinion with respect to each such order or communication, 
and a copy of every opinion so recorded shall be sent forthwith 
to the Secretary of State. 

25. If a majority of the Council record as aforesaid their 

opinions against any act proposed to be 

secretary of state done the Secretary of State shall, if he do 

Opinions of & majorit? not defer to the opinions of the majority, 

to record his reasons. record his reasons for acting in opposition 

thereto. 

26. Provided that where it appears to the Secretary of 

State that the despatch of any communica- 
oi u?ge ncy. 011 f r cases tion or the making of any order, not being 

an order for which a majority of the votes 
at a meeting is hereby made necessary, is urgently required, the 
communication may be sent or order given notwithstanding 
the same may not have been submitted to a meeting of the 
Council or deposited for seven days as aforesaid, the urgent 
reasons for sending or making the same being recorded by the 
Secretary of State, and notice thereof being given to every 
member of the Council, except in the cases hereinafter men- 
tioned. 



96 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

27. Provided also, that any order, not being an order for 

which a majority of votes at a meeting is 
throug i i? r8 sec 1 ret r Com* hereby made necessary, which might, if 

secretary of stStJ'witK this Act had not been P ass ed, have been 
out communication with sent by the Commissioners for the Affairs 
of India, through the Secret Committee of 
the Court of Directors to Governments or Presidencies in India, 
or to the officers or servants of the said Company, may, after 
the commencement of this Act, be sent to such Governments 
or Presidencies, or to any officer or servant in India, by the 
Secretary of State without having been submitted to a meeting, 
or deposited for the perusal of the members of the Council, 
and without the reasons being recorded, or notice thereof given 
as aforesaid. 

28. Any despatches to Great Britain which might, if this 
M to communication Act had not been passed, have been ad- 

of secret despatches dressed to the Secret Committee of the 
Court of Directors, may be marked "secret" 
by the authorities sending the same ; And such despatches 
shall not be communicated to the Members of the Council, 
unless the Secretary of State shall so think fit and direct. 

29. The appointments of Governor-General of India 

and Governors of Presidencies in India 
mad A e pp by nt en with thl now made by the Court of Directors with 
Ma p jesty" n f Her the approbation of Her Majesty, and the 

appointments of Advocate-General for the 
several Presidencies now made with the approbation of the 
Commissioners for the Affairs of India, shall be made by Her 
Majesty by warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual ; 

The appointment of the Lieutenant-Governors of provinces 
or territories shall be made by the Governor-General of 
India, subject to the approbation of Her Majesty ; and all such 
appointments shall be subject to the qualifications now by law 
affecting such offices respectively. 

30. All appointments to offices, commands and employ- 

ments in India, all promotions, which by 
Appointments now law, or under any regulations, usage or 

made in India to continue J , ! .. 

to be made there. custom, are now made by any authority in 

India, shall continue to be made in India 

by the like authority, and subject to the qualifications, conditions, 

and restrictions now affecting such appointments respectively ; 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 97 

But the Secretary of State in Council, with the concurrence 
of a majority of members present at a 
cSSSFSZtl meeting, shall have the like power to make 
appointments, etc. in regulations for the division and distribution 
of patronage and power of nomination 

among the several authorities in India, and the like power of 
restoring to their stations, offices, or employments, officers, and 
servants suspended or removed by any authority in India, as 
might have been exercised by the said Court of Directors, 
with the approbation of the Commissioners for the Affairs of 
India, if this Act had not been passed. 

32. With all convenient speed after the passing of this 
secretatyo, state in Act Regulations shall be made by the 
council to make regu- Secretary of State in Council, with the 
oVcandf'dateVtothecf/vu advice and assistance of the Commis- 
service of India. sioners for the time being, acting in execu- 

tion of Her Majesty's Order in Council of twenty-first May one 
thousand eight hundred and fifty-five for regulating the 
admission of persons to the Civil Service of the Crown, for 
admitting all persons being natural-born subjects of Her 
Majesty (and of such age and qualification as may be prescribed 
in this behalf) who may be desirous of becoming candidates 
for appointment to the Civil Service of India to be examined 
as candidates accordingly, and for prescribing the branches of 
knowledge in which such candidates shall be examined, and 
generally for regulating and conducting such examinations, 
under the superintendence of the said last mentioned Com- 
missioners or of the person for the time being entrusted with 
the carrying out of such regulations as may be, from time to 
time, established by Her Majesty for examination, certificate, 
or other test of fitness in relation to appointments to junior 
situations in the Civil Service of the Crown ; And the 
candidates who may be certified by the said Commissioners or 
other persons as aforesaid, to be entitled under such regulations 
shall be recommended for appointment according to the order 
of their proficiency as shown by such examinations ; And 
such persons only as shall have been so certified as aforesaid 
shall be appointed or admitted to the Civil Service of India 
by the Secretary of State in Council : 

Provided always, that all regulations to be made by the 

Reflations made by S *! d ^^JV^ ^ Council under 

secretary oi state to be this Act shall be laid before Parliament 
' llaraent - within fourteen days after the making 

13 



98 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

thereof, if Parliament be sitting, and if Parliament be not 
sitting then, within fourteen days after the next meeting 
thereof. 

33. All appointments to cadetships, naval and military, 

and all admissions to service not herein 

other appointments otherwise provided for, shall be vested in 

and admission to service TT nr A j ^i_ c 

vested in Her Majesty. Her Majesty ; And the names of persons 
to be from time to time recommended for 
such cadetships and service shall be submitted to Her Majesty 
by the Secretary of State. 

37. Save as hereinbefore provided, all powers of making 

regulations in relation to appointments 
Regulations as to and admissions to service and other 
ffisVoTe n rt 8 ic a e n . da matters connected therewith, and of alter- 

ing or revoking such regulations, which, if 
this Act had not been passed, might have been exercised by 
the Court of Directors or Commissioners for the Affairs of 
India, may be exercised by the Secretary of State in Council ; 
And all regulations in force at the time of the commence- 
ment of this Act in relation to the matters aforesaid shall 
remain in force, subject nevertheless to alteration or revocation 
by the Secretary of State in Council as aforesaid. 

38. Any writing under the Royal Sign Manual, renew- 

ing or dismissing any person holding any 
Her R M esty to b f l C com- office, employment, or commission, civil 
S u state e hi c t ouncif etary or miutarv > m India, of which, if this Act 

had not been passed, a copy would have 
been required to be transmitted or delivered within eight days 
after being signed by Her Majesty to the chairman or deputy 
of the Court of Directors shall, in lieu thereof, be communi- 
cated within the time aforesaid to the Secretary of State in 
Council. 

39. All lands and hereditaments, monies, stores, goods, 
Real and personal chattel, and other real and personal estate 

property of the Company of the said Company, subject to the debts 

to vest in Her Majesty , .. , ..... / 

lor the purposes ol the and liabilities affecting the Same respective- 
Government of India, ly, and the benefit of all contracts, cove- 
nants and engagements, and all rights to fines, penalties, and 
forfeitures, and all other emoluments, which the said Company 
shall be seized or possessed of, or entitled to, at the time of the 
commencement of this Act, except the capital stock of the 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 99 

said Company and the dividend thereon, shall become vested 
in Her Majesty, to be applied and disposed of, subject to the 
provisions of this Act, for the purposes of the Government of 
India. 

40. The Secretary of State in Council, with the concur- 
Powers to sell and rence of a majority of votes at a meeting, 

purchase, and to enter shall have full power to Sell and dispose 
into contracts, vested in r 11 i j i 

secretary of state in of all real and personal estate whatso- 
ever for the time being vested in Her 
Majesty under this Act, as may be thought fit, or to raise 
money on any such real estate by way of mortgage, and make 
the proper assurances for that purpose, and to purchase and 
acquire any land or hereditaments or any interests therein, 
stores, goods, chattels and other property, and to enter into any 
contracts whatsoever, as may be thought fit for the purposes of 
this Act ; 

And all property so acquired shall vest in Her Majesty 
for the service of the Government of India : and any convey- 
ance or assurance of or concerning any real estate to be made 
by the authority of the Secretary of State in Council may be 
made under the hands and seal of three Members of the 
Council. 

41. The expenditure of the revenues of India, both in 

India and elsewhere, shall be subject to 
J'STSSTiSUS* the contro1 ofthe Secretary of State in 
stafe/ncouncif tary * ^ ounc ^ 5 And no grant or appropriation 

of any part of such revenues, or of any 
other property coming into the possession of the Secretary 
of State in Council by virtue of this Act, shall be made without 
the concurrence of a majority of votes at a meeting of the 
Council. 

42. * * * * All the bond, debenture and other debt of the 

said Company in Great Britain, and all 
Existing and future the territorial debt and all other debts of 
^anya^exp'en-* the said Company, and all sums of money, 
tenies b of c ind r ia! d " "" costs > charges and expenses, which if this 

Act had not been passed would after the 

time appointed for the commencement thereof have been pay- 
able by the said Company out ofthe revenues of India, in respect 
or by reason of any treaties, covenants, contracts, grants, or 
liabilities then existing and all expenses, debts and liabilities 
which after the commencement of this Act shall be lawfully 



IOO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

contracted and incurred on account of the Government of India, 
and all payments under this Act, shall be charged and charge- 
able upon the revenues of India alone, as the same would have 
been if this Act had not been passed, and such expenses, debts 
and liabilities lawfully contracted and incurred by the said 
Company ; and such revenues shall not be applied to any other 
purpose whatsoever ; And all other monies vested in or arising 
or accruing from property or rights vested in Her Majesty 
under this Act, or 'to be received or disposed of by the Council 
under this Act, shall be applied in aid of such revenues. * * * 

43. Such part of the revenues of India as shall be from 

time to time remitted to Great Britain, 

Revenues remitted to and all monies of the said Company in 

"riStag tetoS BriSto! their treasury or under the care of their 

lisL& & inCouncii. etary cashier, and all other monies in Great 

Britain of the said Company, or which 

would have been received by them in Great Britain if this Act 
had not been passed, and all monies arising or accruing in Great 
Britain from any property or rights vested in Her Majesty by 
this Act, or from the sale or disposition thereof, shall be paid 
to the Secretary of State in Council, to be applied for the pur- 
poses of this Act ; And all such monies, except as hereinafter 
otherwise provided, shall be paid into the Bank of England, to 
the credit of an account to be opened by the Governor and 
Company of the Bank of England, to be intituled "The 
Account of the Secretary of State in Council of India" ; And 
all monies to be placed to the credit of such account under 
this Act shall be paid out upon drafts or orders signed by three 
Members of Council and countersigned by the Secretary of 
State or one of his Under Secretaries ; and such account shall 
be a public account : Provided always, that the Secretary of 
State in Council may cause to be kept from time to time, 
under the care of their cashier, in an account to be kept at 
the Bank of England, such sum or sums of money as they 
may deem necessary for the payments now made out of money 
under the care of the cashier of the said Company. 

46. The Secretary of State in Council shall, with respect to 
all Actions, Suits and all Proceedings by or against the said Com- 
pany pending at the time of the Commencement of this Act, 
come in the place of the said Company and that without the 
necessity of substituting the name of the Secretary of State in 
Council for that of the said Company. 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. IOI 

52. It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, by warrant under 
Her Royal Sign Manual, countersigned by 
oreat U Brit a f in account8 ln the Chancellor of the Exchequer, to 
appoint from time to time a fit person to 
be Auditor of the Accounts of the Secretary of State in 
Council, and to authorize such auditor to appoint and remove 
from time to time such assistants as may be specified in such 
warrant, and every such auditor shall hold office during good 
behaviour ; And there shall be paid to such auditor and assis- 
tants out of the revenues of India such respective salaries as 
Her Majesty, by warrant as aforesaid countersigned as aforesaid, 
may direct ; And such Auditor shall examine and audit the 
accounts of the receipt, expenditure, and disposal in Great 
Britain of all monies, shares and property applicable for the 
purpose of this Act ; and the Secretary of State in Council shall, 
by the officers and servants of the establishment produce and 
lay before such auditor from time to time all such accounts, 
accompanied by proper vouchers for the support of the same, 
and shall submit to his inspection all books, papers, and writings 
having relation thereto ; And such auditor shall have power to 
examine all such officers and servants in Great Britain of the 
establishment as he may see fit in relation to such accounts, 
and the receipt, expenditure, or disposal of such monies, 
shares, and property, and for that purpose, by writing under his 
hand, to summon before him any such officer or servants ; 
And such auditor shall report from time to time to the 
Secretary of State in Council his approval or disapproval of 
such accounts, with such remarks and observations in relation 
thereto as he may think fit, specially noting any case if there 
shall be, in which it shall appear to him that any money arising 
out of the revenues of India has been appropriated to other 
purposes than those of the Government of India to which alone 
they are declared to be applicable ; and shall specify in detail 
in his reports all sums of money, shares and property which 
ought to be accounted for, and are not brought into account, 
or have not been appropriated, in conformity with the provisions 
of this Act, or have been expended or disposed of without 
due authority, and shall also specify any defects, inaccuracies, 
or irregularities, which may appear in such accounts, or in 
the authorities, vouchers, or documents having relation thereto ; 
And all such reports shall be laid before both Houses of 
Parliament by such auditor, together with the accounts of the 
year to which the same may relate. 



IO2 THE GOVERNMENT Of INDIA ACT, 1858, 

53. The Secretary of State in Council shall, within the 

first fourteen days during which Parliament 
aiiy A faTd Un bVfo t ?e b pt?iia: may be sitting, next after the first day of 

May in every year, lay before both Houses 
of Parliament an account for the financial year preceding the 
last completed of the annual produce of the revenues of India, 
distinguishing the same under the respective heads thereof, 
at each of the several Presidencies or Governments, and of all 
the annual receipts and disbursements at home and abroad on 
account of the Government of India, distinguishing the same 
under the respective heads thereof together with the latest esti- 
mate of the same for the last financial year, and also the amount 
of the debts chargeable on the revenues of India, with the rates 
of interest they respectively carry, and the annual amount of 
such interest, the state of the effects and credits at each 
Presidency or Government, and in England or elsewhere appli- 
cable to the purposes of the Government of India, according 
to the latest advices which have been received thereon, and 
also a list of the establishment of the Secretary of State 
in Council, and the salaries and allowances payable in respect 
thereof ; And if any new or increased salaries or pensions of fifty 
pounds a year or upwards have been granted or created within 
a year, the particulars thereof shall be specially stated and 
explained at the foot of the account of such year ; And such 
account shall be accompanied by a statement prepared from 
detailed reports from each Presidency and district in India in 
such form as shall best exhibit the moral and material progress 
and condition of India in each such Presidency. 

54. When any order is sent to India directing the actual 
when order to com- commencement of hostilities by Her 

mence hostilities is sent Majesty s forces in India, the fact of such 
communicated'toVariia- order having been sent shall be communi- 
ment cated to both Houses of Parliament within 

three months after the sending of such order, if Parliament be 
sitting, unless such order shall have been in the meantime 
revoked or suspended, and, if Parliament not sitting at the 
end of such three months, then within one month after the next 
meeting of Parliament. 

55. Except for preventing or repelling actual invasion of 
Except for repelling H f r Majesty's Indian possessions, or under 

invasion, the revenues other sudden and urgent necessity, the 
t"w*mmt V o?Sl* revenues of India shall not, without the 
tjon g beyond the iron- consent o f both Houses of Parliament, be 



THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 103 

applicable to defray the expenses of any military operation 
carried on beyond the external frontiers of such possessions 
by Her Majesty's forces charged upon such revenues. 

63. In case the person who shall be entitled under any 

provisions for appointment to succeed to 

3"u* a !%? the office of Governor-General of India 
fore betakes his seat in upon a vacancy therein, or who shall be 

appointed absolutely to assume the office, 

shall be in India (upon or after the happening of the vacancy, 
or upon or after the receipt of such absolute appointment, as 
the case may require), but shall be absent from Fort William in 
Bengal, or from the place where the Council of the Governor- 
General of India may then be, and it shall appear to him 
necessary to exercise the powers of Governor-General before he 
shall have taken his seat in Council, it shall be lawful for him to 
make known by proclamation his appointment and his intention 
to assume the said office of Governor-General ; And after such 
proclamation, and thenceforth until he shall repair to Fort 
William or the place where the Council may assemble, it shall 
be lawful for him to exercise alone, all or any of the powers 
which might be exercised by the Governor-General in Council, 
except the power of making laws and regulations ; And all 
acts done in the exercise of the said powers, except as aforesaid, 
shall be of the same force and effect as if they had been done 
by the Governor-General in Council ; Provided that all acts 
done in the said Council after the date of such proclamation 
but before the communication thereof to such Council, shall 
be valid, subject nevertheless to revocation or alteration by 
the person who shall have so assumed the said office of 
Governor-General ; And when the office of Governor-General 
is assumed under the foregoing provision, if there be at any 
time before the Governor-General takes his seat in Council, 
no Vice-President of the Council authorised to preside at 
meetings for making laws and regulations (as provided by 
section 22 of the Government of India Act, 1853), the senior 
ordinary member of Council therefore sent shall preside therein, 
with the same powers as if a Vice-President had been appointed 
and were absent. 

64. All Acts and provisions of law in force or otherwise 

concerning India shall, subject to the pro- 
Existing provisions to visions of this Act, continue in force and 

be applicable to Secre- j r t r-> 

taryoi state in Council, be construed as referring to the Secretary 
of State in Council in the place of the said 



104 THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1858. 

Company and the Court of Directors and Court of Proprietors 
thereof; And all enactments applicable to the officers and 
servants of the said Company in India, and to appointments to 
office or admissions to service by the said Court of Directors, 
shall, subject to provisions of this Act, remain applicable to the 
officers and servants continued and to the officers and servants 
appointed or employed in India and to appointments to office 
and admissions to service under the authority of this Act. 

65. The Secretary of State in Council shall and may sue 

state in a ^ e sue< ^ as we ^ * n I nc ^ a as * n England 
Councif e may sueandbe by the name of the Secretary of State in 
Council as a body corporate ; And all 
persons and bodies politic shall and may have and take the 
same suits, remedies and proceedings, legal and equitable, 
against the Secretary of State in Council of India as they 
could have done against the said Company ; And the property 
and effects hereby vested in Her Majesty for the purposes of 
the Government of India, or acquired for the said purposes, 
shall be subject and liable to the same judgments and execu- 
tions as they would, while vested in the said Company, have 
been liable to in respect of debts and liabilities lawfully con- 
tracted and incurred by the said company. 

67. All treaties made by the said Company shall be 

binding on Her Majesty ; and all contracts, 
covenants, liabilities and engagements of 

and contracts, &c. of the said Company made, incurred or enter- 
company may be enforced */ r ^i 

ed into before the commencement of this 
Act, may be enforced by and against the Secretary of State in 
Council in like manner and in the same Courts as they might 
have been by and against the said company if this Act had 
not been passed. 

68. Neither the Secretary of State nor any member of the 

Council shall be personally liable in res- 

ot^?n e lfi y iiabi e uncil P ect of an 7 such contract, covenant, or 
engagement of the said Company as afore- 
said, or in respect of any contract entered into under the autho- 
rity of this Act, or other liability of the said Secretary of State 
or Secretary of State in Council in their official capacity ; but 
all such liabilities, and all costs and damages in respect thereof, 
shall be satisfied and paid out of the revenues of India. 



B. 

EXTRACTS FROM VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH 
ON FEBRUARY i2TH, 1858. 

In 1858 three Bills were introduced for the Better Govern- 
ment of India. VISCOUNT PALMERSTON in moving for leave to 
bring (February 12, 1858) in (the first) Bill for the Better 
Government of India, said : 

"I rise, Sir, in pursuance of the notice which has been given 
by Her Majesty's Government, to ask leave to introduce a Bill 
of first-rate importance. I rise to ask leave to introduce a Bill 
for transferring from the East India Company to the Crown 
the government of Her Majesty's East Indian dominions. 
In making that proposal I feel myself bound, in the first place, 
to say that I do not do it in any spirit of hostility to the East 
India Company, or as meaning thereby to imply any blame or 
censure upon the administration of India under that corpora- 
tion. I believe the East India Company has done many good 
things in India. I believe that its administration has been 
attended with great advantage to the population under its rule. 
And it is not on the ground of any delinquency on the part 
of the Company, but on the ground of the inconvenience and 
injurious character of the existing arrangements, that I propose 
this measure to the House. It is perhaps one of the most ex- 
traordinary facts in the history of mankind that these British 
Islands should have acquired such an extensive dominion in a 
remote part of the globe as that which we exercise over the 
continent of India. It is indeed remarkable that those regions, 
in which science and art may be said to have first dawned upon 
mankind, should now be subject to the rule of a people inhabi- 
ting islands which at a time, when these eastern regions enjoyed 
as high a civilization and as great prosperity as that age could 
offer, were in a state of utter barbarism. That is a remarkable 
circumstance ; but still more remarkable is it that these exten- 
sive dominions should have been gained not by the power of a 
nation as a nation, but by an association of individuals, by a 
mercantile community, supported, indeed, to a certain degree 
by the power and resources of their country, but mainly in- 
debted for success to their own energy and enterprise. These 
two circumstances are undoubtedly singular in the history of 
the world, but it is quite as remarkable, quite as singular, that 

14 



io6 VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 

a nation like this, in which the science of government is perhaps 
better understood than in any other, in which the principle of 
popular representation has so long been established, should 
have deliberately consigned to the care of a small body of 
commercial men the management of such extensive territories, 
such vast interests, and such numerous populations. One 
could easily imagine that a wilderness in the northern part of 
America, where nothing lives except fur-bearing animals and 
a few wild Indians but little removed from the lower creation, 
might be confined to a company whose chief functions should 
be to strip the running animals of their fur, and to keep the 
bipeds sober ; but that a great country like this should deli- 
berately consign to the management of a mere commercial 
company, of a set of irresponsible individuals, a great territory, 
occupied by different races, professing diverse religions and 
should place in their hands the determination of all the ques- 
tions of peace and war and of international relations with inde- 
pendent princes, which must necessarily arise, is, I believe, a 
circumstance unexampled in the history of mankind. But this 
country never designedly did any such thing. The existing 
state of things grew up gradually from a very small beginning. 
The original settlers began with a factory, the factory grew into 
a fort, the fort expanded to a district, and the district to a pro- 
vince, and then came collisions with less civilized neighbours, 
injuries to be resented, attacks to be repelled, and conflicts 
which always ended in victory and extension of territory. So, 
gradually, from one transaction to another, grew up that state 
of things in which the East India Company found itself inves- 
ted with vast commercial privileges and with most important 
political functions. This state of things continued up to the 
year 1784, when there was an infusion of responsibility in 
respect of its political administrative functions into the 
affairs of the Company by the establishment of the Board 
of Control. Matters went on under this new arrangement 
for a number of years, during which the Company continued, 
subject to a slight interference from the Board of Control, 
to discharge its political functions, and at the same time 
to exercise all its commercial rights. One would have 
imagined that in a country like this that first step would 
have been followed up ; that before anything else was done the 
reflective British nation would have pursued the course 
inaugurated in 1784, and that as the effect of the measure then 
adopted was to limit to a certain degree the political functions 



VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. IO? 

of the Company, the next step would have been to take them 
away altogether, and to leave the Company in its original posi- 
tion as a trading association. However, it happens that in this 
country commercial matters often attract more attention and 
excite deeper interest than political affairs, and the next step 
was, not to meddle further with the political functions of the 
Company, but to take away all the commercial privileges which 
originally constituted the foundation of its existence. Accord- 
ingly, in the year 1833 tne Company altogether ceased to be 
a commercial association, and became, one may say, but a 
phantom of its original body. It lost the commercial character 
for which it was originally founded, and continued to be merely 
a political instrument, by means of which the administration of 
India was carried on. Now, Sir, I venture to think that the 
arrangement so made was a most inconvenient and most cum- 
brous arrangement. The principle of our political system is 
that all administrative functions should be accompanied by 
ministerial responsibility- responsibility to Parliament, res- 
ponsibility to public opinion, responsibility to the Crown, but in 
this case the chief functions in the government of India are 
committed to a body not responsible to Parliament, not appoin- 
ted by the Crown, but elected by persons who have no more 
connection with India than consists in the simple possession of 
so much India stock. I think that that of itself is a most 
objectionable arrangement. In this country we are slow to 
make changes. The indisposition to make changes is wise and 
useful. As a general principle it is wise, and nations do them- 
selves great mischief by rapid and ill-considered alterations of 
their institutions. But equally unwise and equally injurious is 
it to cling to existing arrangements simply because they exist, 
and not to admit changes which can be made with advantage 
to the nation. What can be more cumbrous than the existing 
system of Indian administration which is called by the name 
of the "double Government"? In the debates of 1853, when the 
last India Bill was passed, the right honourable Gentleman the 
Member for Buckinghamshire (MR. DlSRAELl) asked who was 
the Government of India, and to whom he was to look as the 
authority responsible for the administration of that vast empire. 
Why, Sir, there is no responsibility, or rather there is a conflict 
of responsibility. The Directors possess a power paramount, as 
the right honourable Gentleman said, to every thing else, the 
power of recalling the Governor General, by which any great 
system of policy may be at once interrupted. And they have this 



108 VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 

power, although the Governor General must have been appoin- 
ted by the Crown, and the appointment sanctioned by the 
Directors. The functions of Government and the responsibility 
have been divided between the Directors, the Board of Control, 
and the Governor General in India ; the Board of Control re- 
presenting the Government of the day, responsible to this House, 
responsible to public opinion, appointed by the Crown, and 
exercising functions delegated by it ; the Court of Directors, 
elected by the gentlemen and ladies who happen to be holders 
of India Stock, many of whom are totally ignorant of every 
thing relating to Indian interests, and perhaps knowing nothing 
about Calcutta, Bombay, or Madras, except what they learn 
from the candidates for the directorship as to the presidency to 
which the cadetship is to belong which is promised in return for 
their votes. The Directors are undoubtedly, in general, men of 
great experience and knowledge of India, but they are elected 
by a body of persons who have no peculiar faculty for choosing 
persons qualified to govern a great empire in the East. Then 
comes the Governor General, invested with great, separate, and 
independent powers, and among these three authorities it is 
obvious that despatch and unity of purpose can hardly by 
possibility exist. I won't trouble the House by going into a 
detailed explanation of the method in which business is done, 
because it is very well known to those Honourable Members, who 
have given their attention to Indian affairs, that before a des- 
patch upon the most important matter can go out to India it 
has to oscillate between Cannon Row and the India House ; 
that it is proposed by one party, altered by the other, altered 
again by the first, and sent back to the other ; and that the 
adventures of a despatch between these two extreme points of 
the metropolis are often as curious as those Adventures of a 
Guinea of which we have all read. It is obvious that this sys- 
tem of check and counter-check must be attended with great 
inconvenience to the public service, and be productive of great 
delay. Take, for example, a body of twenty gentlemen gene- 
rally agreeing in their views and make ten of them sit at the 
east end of the town and the other ten in Westminster. Pro- 
pose to them any question of average difficulty and importance, 
and the probability is that the two parties will come to different 
conclusions, not being able to exchange opinions and arguments 
and to arrive at a common result. So it is with the Board of 
Control and the Court of Directors. The result in cases of 
material difference must necessarily be a middle term, satisfy- 



VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. IOO, 

ing the opinions of neither, carrying into effect the principle of 
neither, unsatisfactory therefore to both, and probably less 
advantageous to the public service than the opinion of either 
would have been had it been entirely adopted. Therefore, I say 
that this system of check and counter-check may be carried 
too far. There is no doubt that certain checks are requisite in 
every political machine ; but you may multiply your checks and 
counter-checks to such an extent that the functions of the 
machine, which are intended only to be controlled, are para- 
lyzed for every useful purpose. Then what, let me ask, is the 
position in which Her Majesty's Government stand in this 
House ? When Indian questions are discussed, it is the cons- 
tant habit of those who take part in the debate, criticizing and 
impugning what has been done, to hold Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment responsible for everything that occurs. But Her Majesty's 
Government cannot be fairly answerable for things over which 
they have not a perfect control, and which they cannot entirely 
direct. It frequently happens, indeed, that the Government of 
the day are made responsible for acts which were done without 
their consent, and probably in some cases much to their dissatis- 
faction. * * * I say, then, it is most desirable that this compli- 
cated machine should be simplified and reduced in fact and form 
to that which it is imagined to be, but which it practically is not. 
I may be asked why we take this moment for proposing a change 
of system. The inconveniences of different systems of adminis- 
tration are forced upon the attention of the Government and 
the country from time to time by peculiar emergencies. * * * I 
say then, that as far as regards the executive functions of the 
Indian Government at home, it is of the greatest importance 
to vest complete authority where the public have a right to think 
that complete responsibility should rest, and that whereas in 
this country there can be but one governing body responsible 
to the Crown, to Parliament, and to public opinion, consisting of 
the constitutional advisers of the Crown for the time being, so 
it is in accordance with the principles and practice of our cons- 
titution, as it would be in accordance with the best interests of 
the nation, that India, with all its vast and important interests, 
should be placed under the direct authority of the Crown, to be 
governed in the name of the Crown by the responsible Minis- 
ters of the Crown sitting in Parliament, and responsible to 
Parliament and the public for every part of their public conduct, 
instead of being, as now, mainly administered by a set of gentle- 
men who, however respectable, however competent for the 



1 10 VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 

discharge of the functions entrusted to them, are yet a totally 
irresponsible body, whose views and acts are seldom known to 
the public, and whether known or unknown, whether approved 
or disapproved, unless one of the Directors happens to have a 
seat in this House, are out of the range of Parliamentary dis- 
cussion. Again, as regards our interests in India I may state 
at once that the Bill which I am about to propose to the House 
is confined entirely and solely to a change in the administrative 
organization at home, and that we do not intend to make any 
alteration in the existing arrangements in India. In fact, if 
Parliament were to adopt the measure which we are about to 
propose, the only difference, as far as India is concerned, would 
be, that the next despatch would go out signed by the President 
and the Council for Indian affairs, instead of by the Court of 
Directors, and that the reply would be addresssed to the Presi- 
dent of the new Board, instead of the Chairman of the body 
sitting in Leadenhall Street. Now, I believe there can be no 
doubt that, so far as the impression on the minds of the people 
of India is concerned, the name of the Sovereign of a great 
empire like this must be far more respected, far more calcula- 
ted to produce moral and political impressions, than the name 
of a Company of merchants, however respectable and able they 
may be. We have to deal, in that country, with Princes, some 
ruling independently and some in a state of modified depen- 
dence upon us, and with feudal chiefs proud of their position, 
cherishing traditionary recollections of a wide empire, and of 
great Sovereigns to whom their ancestors owed allegiance. How 
can we expect such men to feel any great respect for a mere 
Company of merchants ? The respect they feel, the allegiance 
they yield, would be increased tenfold if the one were given and 
the other tendered to the Sovereign of a great and mighty 
empire. I believe, in fact, that what gives force to the Company 
in India is not the fame or authority of the Company itself, but 
the knowledge which the people have that behind the Company, 
and strengthening it, is the power of the British Empire, and 
that, although the ruler may be an officer of a commercial asso- 
ciation in name, the real power which they have to look up to 
is the power of the Sovereign of this great country. I am, there- 
fore, satisfied that the transfer of the government of India to the 
Crown would, as far as its effect upon the people of India is 
concerned, be equivalent to a large reinforcement of troops ; 
that the impression which would be produced would be most 
advantageous, and would tend to consolidate and strengthen the 



VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. Ill 

moral and political influence of England in these vast regions 
of the world. What, then, is the arrangement which we are 
about to propose ? We wish to alter things as little as we can 
consistently with the great object which we have in view. That 
object is to make the responsible advisers of the Crown answer- 
able for the government of India as well as for that of all other 
possessions of the Crown beyond seas. We wish that the affairs 
of India should be administered by Ministers responsible to 
Parliament for the manner in which that country is governed. 
We propose, therefore, that the functions of the Court of Direc- 
tors, and, of course, of the Court of Proprietors, shall cease ; 
that there shall be substituted for those bodies a President, 
assisted by a Council for the Affairs of India; that that Presi- 
dent, of course, shall be a member of the Government, and shall 
be the organ of the Cabinet with reference to all matters relating 
to India ; but, as men who have distinguished themselves in 
public life in this country, and who are likely from time to time, 
as changes of Administration occur, to be placed at the head of 
that department, cannot be supposed to possess that detailed 
local knowledge which is essential to the wise government of the 
country, we propose that the President shall be assisted by a 
Council composed of persons named by the Crown, with the 
condition that they shall either have been Directors of the East 
India Company, have served for a certain period in India either 
in a civil or military capacity, or have resided there a certain 
number of years unconnected with the local administration. We 
propose that that Council shall consist of eight members, that 
the members shall be appointed for eight years, and that two 
shall retire by rotation every second year, in order that succes- 
sive Administrations may have the means of renewing the 
Council from time to time by the introduction of persons re- 
turning from India with fresh knowledge and ideas. We think 
that while, on the one hand, the permanency of a Councillor for 
eight years will make him an independent adviser of the Presi- 
dent, he will not, on the other, by being appointed for life, block 
up the way to the accession of other persons who may from 
time to time appear more capable of serving the country. Of 
course, as the proposal is to transfer to the Government of the 
day full responsibility for the management of Indian affairs, and 
as the President will be the organ of the Cabinet upon Indian 
matters, just as the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the 
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs are the organs of the 
Government in regard to the departments under their respective 



112 VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 

care, the decision of the President must be final in all matters 
which may be treated of in the Council, But, nevertheless, we 
propose that, if the Councillors differ in opinion from the Presi- 
dent, they shall have the right to record that difference, together 
with their reasons, upon the Minutes of the Council, so as to be 
able to justify themselves afterwards for the advice they 
have given. The full power of the President, however, will 
not extend to matters involving increased expense to 
the Indian revenue ; and, for purposes of that sort, it will be 
necessary that he shall have the concurrence of four Councillors 
to any proposals which he may have to submit. In the 
temporary absence of the President a Secretary of State will 
be able to act for him, and four members of the Council will be a 
quorum for the transaction of business. We propose that 
the Council shall have the power of distributing among them- 
selves the business which comes to them, so as to allot different 
departments of business to different members of Council, who 
will, of course, make reports to the Council itself. We propose 
that the President shall be placed on the footing of a Secretary 
of State, and that the Councillors shall have a salary of ;i,ooo 
a year each. We propose that all powers now vested in the 
Court of Directors shall be transferred to this Council, and, 
therefore, that all appointments which have hitherto been made 
by the Court of Directors or by other parties subject to the 
approbation of the Crown, shall be made by the Crown direct, 
but that all appointments in India which have hitherto been 
made by the local authorities shall continue to be made by 
those authorities ; so that no part of the local Indian patronage 
will be transferred to the Government of this country. We 
propose that the President shall be able to appoint one 
Secretary, who shall be capable of sitting in this House. It 
will be convenient that a Cabinet Minister holding that 
situation shall have the assistance of a Secretary conversant 
with the business which may come under discussion ; but we 
do not propose that the Councillors shall be capable of sitting 
in Parliament. We think there would be great inconvenience 
in such an arrangement ; that they would become party men ; 
that they would necessarily associate with one side or the other 
in this House, and that, with changes of Administration, the 
relations between the President and the Councillors might then 
become exceedingly embarrassing. One point which has 
always attracted the attention of those who have considered 
these matters, and which has created even a very considerable 



VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 113 

constitutional difficulty, in any attempt to decide what would 
be the best system of Government for "India, has been the 
question of patronage. Many men have said that they think 
the "double Government" a cumbrous and antiquated machine, 
which ought to be done away with. That was the opinion in 1853 
of a great number of those honourable Members who took part 
in the discussion, but it was always said, "How can we manage 
with the patronage ? We do not wish to increase the patronage 
of the Government, and we fear that this transfer of power 
would greatly augment the patronage of the Home Govern- 
ment." Now, I have already said with regard to local appoint- 
ments, all these appointments which have hitherto been made 
either by the Governor General or by other authorities in India, 
will continue exactly as before to be made by them, the mem- 
bers of the local Council being named by the Governor General 
instead of being named hence. An arrangement was made in 
1853 by which all appointments to writerships were given up 
to open competition. That arrangement we shall of course 
maintain. Writerships, therefore, are beyond the range of 
patronage. * * * 

It is proposed, with regard to local military services, 
that the troops shall be paid out of the revenues of India, 
and that their services shall be limited to Asia so long 
as they are paid out of the Indian revenue. At present I 
believe, the range of service for the Company's troops is co- 
extensive with the limits of the Company's charter, as far as 
any place eastward of the Cape. It is proposed that, if at any 
time a part of the local army shall be employed out of Asia, 
the troops shall then not be paid out of the Indian revenue. 
It will be left for this House to determine whether a force so 
employed shall be paid out of the revenue of this country, and 
whether their employment is consonant with what the interests 
of India may be. This will be a sufficient check against the 
employment of the Indian troops without the consent of Parlia- 
ment. It is proposed that, whereas we transfer to this President 
of the Council the functions of the Court of Directors, and 
Board of Control, both of which will be abolished, the functions 
and powers of the secret Committee, which govern matters, 
involving great discretion and temporary secrecy, should be 
vested in the President, as representative of the responsible 
Minister of the Crown. But we propose that in any case in 
which orders shall be sent to India involving the immediate 
commencement of hostilities, communications thereof shall be 

15 



114 VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 

made to Parliament within one month, if Parliament be then 
sitting, or within one month, after Parliament shall next meet. 
That interval will allow a sufficient time to elapse to prevent 
injury to the public service from the too early publication of 
orders so issued ; while it will, at the same time, give Parlia- 
ment an early opportunity of calling upon the Government for 
explanation of the causes which had led to such orders. Of 
course, it will be necessary that there should be an effective 
audit of the revenues of India and their application. It is 
required by this Bill that the revenue shall be applied solely 
for the purpose of government in India. It is proposed that 
an auditor shall be appointed, with the power of appointing 
assistant auditors, for the purpose of examining minutely the 
account of receipts and expenditure of Indian revenue, and 
that the accounts, when audited, shall be laid before Parliament 
for its consideration. Of course, power will be given to the 
President of the Council to issue to the Company such sums 
as may be necessary to defray the expenditure required for 
paying their dividends and keeping their books, until the 
Company determine whether they will or will not avail them- 
selves of the option given them of being paid in a certain time 
for their stock. This then, Sir, is, generally speaking, the 
outline of our measure. Of course, the details will come under 
the consideration of the House, if it should, as I trust it will, 
give us leave to bring in the Bill, and when the Bill shall be in 
the hands of honourable Members, they will then have to con- 
sider the details, such as I have described, as well as some other 
points, to which I have not thought it necessary to advert. 
But the question now to be considered is simply the great and 
large question, whether or not we shall transfer to the executive 
and responsible Ministers of the Crown the direction of the 
affairs of our Indian territories, or whether that direction shall be 
left, as heretofore, under the cumbrous and complicated system 
described as the ''double government," which, in my opinion, 
is full of embarrassment, and not calculated to accomplish the 
purposes good government ought to have in view, and which, 
though continued heretofore, because no great events have 
called on Parliament to reconsider it, ought, I think, to be 
abolished without further delay. Now, I do not think I shall 
be met by objections to this principle itself, because, when I 
recollect what has passed on former occasions in this House, 
and when I know what is the general opinion of the country 
on the point, I cannot persuade myself that we shall meet with 



VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 115 

any strong opposition to the general principle on which the 
measure is founded. When I look back to what passed in 
1853, I find some of the leading Members of this House 
expressed strong opinions that the time must come, at no 
distant period, when an entire change ought to be made, and 
that the introduction of Government nominees into the East 
India Direction was only the first step to further and ulterior 
measures ; and the only doubt was, whether a full measure ought 
not at that time to be adopted. But, whatever may have been 
the opinion of Parliament at that time, I am much mistaken 
as to the signs and indications of opinion in the country now 
if the nation at large has not made up its mind that this 
"double Government" ought to cease. I am convinced that 
this is the opinion of the country ; and great disappoint- 
ment would be felt if this House should negative the Bill upon 
an objection to the principle itself on which it is founded. We 
shall, no doubt, be met by a Motion for delay, and be told 
that this is not the time for discussing the measure ; that India 
is unsettled ; that we should wait, until a better moment, a 
calmer period, and until the difficulties in India are over. Why, 
that plea for delay is invariably the plea set up by those who 
are anxious to oppose that which they cannot resist directly, 
but which they wish to get rid of by the intermediate policy 
of proposing delay. Why, Sir, what is the force of any argu- 
ment of that kind ? They say, "Do not alter the machine of 
Government at a time when India is unsettled and in difficulty, 
when you have not fully and finally got rid of the mutiny, and 
when you have not entirely re-established authority in every 
part of the Country." What does that argument amount to 
when it is analyzed ? It is said, "Do not change your Govern- 
ment now, because there is in India that to be done which is 
difficult to be accomplished, and which, therefore, it might 
require great power to accomplish." Will then, any man 
pretend that a single Government at home will not be a much 
more effectual instrument for the purpose than a double 
Government ? Will any man pretend to tell me, that with a view 
to rapidity of discussion and execution, unity of purpose, and 
responsibility to the public, a Government administered by 
the responsible advisers of the Crown would not be a far 
more efficient instrument for everything to be done here 
than the existing conflict of checks and counter-checks, 
the system of previous communications and subsequent 
communications, of objections to a despatch and its transfer 



Il6 VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 

by cabs from one part of the town to another, by which 
delay was created, so that a despatch, which ought to go 
out to-morrow, might not go out for a month, or be ready 
until it was too late to send it out. Why, no reasonable man 
will venture to get up and tell the House that the present 
machine can be so effective and so powerful a machine for 
administration at home as the machine we propose to substitute 
for it. Will any man acquainted with India tell me that the 
name of the Company which is now pretty well seen through 
by all the Natives in India can have half, or the tenth part 
of the powerful influence the name of the Crown would carry 
with it? I declare it is non-sense to say that the Indian chiefs 
would not feel ten times more respect for the Rajah of England 
than for the name of any unknown Company. Well, then, I 
say, if we look to England, the machine we propose to substi- 
tute is a much more powerful machine, and if we look to India 
it is a machine infinitely more influential than the existing one. 
Then we are told that there is a state of difficulty in India, 
and what is the proposal of those who want delay ? They say, 
that in order to overcome this difficulty, and to restore tran- 
quillity in India, which we are told is a matter of great difficulty, 
and which will require great strength and power to effect, we 
should prolong the existence of the present weak instrument, 
instead of substituting for it a stronger, more powerful, and 
more effectual machine. In that argument there is no sense, 
I submit. However, we shall be told by some that the Govern- 
ment of India is a great mystery that the unholy ought not 
to set foot in that temple that the House of Commons should 
be kept aloof from any interference in Indian affairs that if 
we transfer the Government to the Ministers responsible to 
Parliament, we shall have Indian affairs made the subject and 
plaything of party passions in this House, and that great 
mischief would arise therefrom. I think that argument is 
founded on an overlooking of the fundamental principles of 
the British constitution. It is a reflection on the Parliamentary 
government. Why, Sir, what is there in the management of 
India which is not mainly dependent on those general principles 
of statesmanship, which men in public life in this country 
acquire here, and make the guidance of their conduct. I do 
not think so ill of this House as to imagine that it would be 
disposed, for factious purposes, or for the momentary triumph 
of party, to trifle with the great interests of the country as 
connected with the administration of our Indian affairs. I am 



viscouN'T PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 117 

accustomed to think that the Parliament of this country does 
comprise in itself as much administrative ability, and as much 
statesmanlike knowledge and science as are possessed by any 
number of men in any other country whatever ; and I own, 
with all respect for the Court of Directors, that I cannot bring 
myself to think that the Parliament of England is less capable 
of wisely administering the great affairs of State in connection 
with India than the Court of Directors in Leadenhall Street. 
I am not afraid to trust Parliament with an insight into Indian 
affairs. I believe, on the contrary, that if things have not gone 
on so fast in India as they might have done if the progress 
of improvement has been somewhat slower than might have 
been expected, that effect has arisen from the circumstance 
that the public of England at large were wholly ignorant of 
Indian affairs, and had turned away from them, being daunted 
by the complications they imagined them to be involved in ; 
and because Parliament has never had face to face, in this and 
the other House, men personally and entirely responsible for 
the administration of Indian affairs. No doubt a good deal 
has been done in the way of substantial improvement of late 
years, but that which has been done I may venture to say has 
been entirely the result of debates in this and the other House 
of Parliament. And, so far from any discussinn on India 
having worked evil in India, I believe that the greater part of 
those improvements which the East India Directors boast of 
in that publication, which has lately issued from Leadenhall 
Street, has been the result of pressure on the Indian adminis- 
tration by debates in Parliament and discussions in the public 
press. Therefore, so far from being alarmed at the con- 
sequences which may arise from bringing Indian affairs under 
the cognizance of Parliament, I believe that a great benefit to 
India, and through India to the British nation, will result there- 
from. Therefore,! say, I see no reason, either on the score of 
principle or on the score of the augmentation of patronage, or 
on the score of time, or constitutional danger, why we should 
not at once pass the measure which it will be my duty to 
present to the House. Sir, I trust that Parliament will feel 
that great power is not given to nations without corresponding 
duties to be performed. We have, by an almost miraculous 
train of events, been intrusted with the care of the destinies of 
150 or 160 millions of men with the government, directly or 
indirectly, of a vast empire larger in extent than the whole 
face of Europe, putting the Russian empire out of the question. 



Il8 VISCOUNT PALMERSTON'S SPEECH, 1858. 

That is a task which involves great responsibility. Do not 
imagine that it is the intention of Providence that England 
should possess that vast empire, and that we should have in our 
hand the destinies of that vast multitude of men, simply that 
we may send out to India the sons of gentlemen or of the mid- 
dling classes to make a decent fortune to live on. That power 
has been entrusted to us for other and better purposes ; and, 
without pointing to anything particular, I think it is the duty 
of this nation to use it in such a manner as to promote, as far 
as they can, the instruction, the enlightenment, and the civili- 
zation of those great populations which are now subject to our 
rule. We have lately had our attention called to scenes of 
barbarity in India, which would make any man shudder, but are 
we wholly irresponsible for those scenes ? If, during the cen- 
tury for which we have exercised power in India, we had used 
that power to enlighten and civilize the people, do you think 
their nature would not, in some measure at least, have been 
changed, and that the atrocious crimes which they have com- 
mitted would not have been as repugnant to their feelings as 
they are to those of the people of this country ? We ought to 
bear these things in mind to remember that we have a great 
duty to fulfil in India, and I am sure that that duty will be best 
discharged if we commit its performance to the hands of men, 
who will be accountable to Parliament for their conduct and who 
feel themselves bound to acquaint the public of this country, 
step by step, with the arrangements which they make. I am 
confident, if Parliament should adopt the measure we are about 
to propose, that while on the one hand it will add to the strength 
of our position in India, while it will increase the power of this 
country, and render our influence more firm and secure, it will, 
on the other hand, enable us more efficiently to perform those 
important duties which, in my view, it was intended that we 
should discharge when the great Indian empire was transferred 
to our control. Sir, I beg to move for leave to bring in a Bill 
for the better Government of India. 



c. 

EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH OF THE EARL OF DERBY 

IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS ON JULY 1 5, 1858. 

On July 15, 1858, the EARL OF DERBY, in moving the second 
reading of the (third Government of India Bill (which subse- 
quently received the Royal Assent on August 2, 1858), said : 

My Lords, in rising to move the second reading of this 
Bill, I cannot but express the deep regret which I feel that this 
task should have devolved upon me rather than upon my noble 
Friend and late colleague (the EARL OF ELLENBOROUGHJ, whose 
intimate knowledge of everything connected with Indian 
affairs would have enabled him to speak with a weight and 
authority which certainly I cannot command. But my noble 
Friend, unfortunately, is no longer a Member of Her Majesty's 
Government, and it therefore becomes my duty to state to your 
Lordships, as shortly and as clearly as I can, the main prin- 
ciples and provisions of the Bill to which I ask you to give a 
second reading this evening. Without attempting in the 
slightest degree to derogate from the importance of the mea- 
sure, I cannot conceal from myself that a far greater degree of 
interest and attention has been attracted to it than would per- 
haps have been called forth by its intrinsic importance, in conse- 
quence of the political circumstances which accompanied its 
introduction and its progress through the other House of Parlia- 
ment. This additional advantage, however, has accrued from 
that circumstance that the Bill has received a greater degree 
of care and of patient investigation in the other House than 
possibly it might otherwise have obtained. 

My Lords, I must, in the first place, observe that I think 
the title of the Bill is open to the objection of being somewhat 
infelicitous. It is not, as it purports to be, a Bill for the better 
government of India. It is a Bill which will, I hope, tend to the 
better government of India ; but the government of India must 
as cannot be too often repeated, be on the whole carried on in 
India, and this Bill does not pretend to deal with all those com- 
plicated and difficult questions which will no doubt, within the 
next few years, frequently engage the anxious consideration of 
Parliament and of the country. It does not pretend to deal 



120 THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 

with the revenue, with the finance, with the land regulations, 
with the condition of the Natives, and the possibility of extend- 
ing their admission into the public service after this unhappy 
revolt shall have been suppressed. It does not profess to 
deal with any of these grave and extensive questions ; and 
although such questions will no doubt engage the attention 
of Parliament, at future periods, and although Parliament 
will doubtless feel it to be both its right and its duty to 
lay down broad principles of action with regard to most of 
them, I cannot help expressing my opinion, that with regard 
to the details of the government of India, the less interference 
there is on the part of Parliament the better prospect will there 
be of securing the happiness and contentment of the people of 
India. 1 need not remind your Lordships that at the com- 
mencement of the present Session Her Majesty's Government 
announced that it was their intention to legislate during that 
Session with respect to the affairs of India. Without entering 
into the merits of the particular legislation which they proposed, 
I must remark that I was certainly of opinion at the time and 
that opinion was shared by many that although it might be 
necessary within a very short time to deal with this question, 
the period when the Government were engaged in suppressing 
a serious revolt was not the most convenient one for the consi- 
deration of a measure affecting the government of the country. 
But that opinion was overruled by a large majority in the other 
House ; for, when a right hon. Friend of mine i,MR. DISRAELI) 
thought it his duty to take the somewhat unusual course of 
moving that leave should not be given to introduce the Bill, on 
the express ground that it was not the time for legislation thus 
especially preventing his motives from being misconstrued, and 
his opposition from being regarded as directed against any of 
the provisions of the measure a majority of, I believe, about two 
to one, in a tolerably full House, decided that it was expedient 
and desirable that a Bill for the regulation of the Home Govern- 
ment of India should be introduced in the course of the present 
Session ; and you will observe that this Bill is not, in fact, for the 
"government of India," but for the improvement of the machi- 
nery by which, in this country, Indian government may be 
superintended and controlled. In consequence of that decision 
the noble Viscount, lately at the head of Her Majesty's Govern- 
ment, introduced a measure to carry into effect the views of 
himself and his colleagues. Very shortly after that, circums- 
tances occurred which caused the resignation of the noble Vis- 



THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 121 

count, and a consequent change of Government. In several of 
the provisions of the Bill of the late Government indeed, in 
most of them I, and those with whom I have the honour to act, 
cordially concurred ; but there were at the same time provisions 
of no minor importance on which we held entirely opposite 
opinions. It then became a question with us whether we should 
take the course of proceeding with the Bill of the noble Vis- 
count, and propose in Committee such Amendments as we 
might think necessary. But it was the opinion of Her Majesty's 
servants and, I think, it was a correct opinion that a mea- 
sure of such vast importance as one regulating the machinery 
for superintending the government of India, ought to be con- 
ducted and carried through, not by any private Member, but 
on the responsibility of the Government as a whole. The con- 
sequence of that was, that under the auspices of my noble Friend 
(THE EARL OF ELLENBOROUGH) a Bill was introduced and laid 
upon the table shortly before the Easter recess. In the course of 
the observations which I shall have to make it may be my duty 
to contrast some of the provisions of that Bill and of the Bill now 
before your Lordships with those of the measure introduced by 
the late Government ; but at present I shall only say that the 
course which we pursued although I think it was the necessary 
and proper course had this inevitable consequence : that 
there being, as it were two rival Bills on the table of the House 
of Commons, there might, in the then state of political excite- 
ment occur this unfortunate result, that the House would be 
called upon to decide between those Bills, not with regard to 
their respective merits, but with regard to the persons and part- 
ies by whom they were introduced ; and that, consequently, the 
affairs of India, which required the most careful and dispassio- 
nate consideration of Parliament, might be made what I was 
most anxious to avoid a battle-field for contending political 
parties. In those circumstances the noble Lord the Member for 
London (LORD JOHN RUSSELL) made a suggestion, which was, 
I think, as wise and patriotic as it was certainly just and con- 
ciliatory, and it tended to relieve Parliament from what might 
have been a very serious embarrassment. LORD J. RUSSELL 
suggested and the Government at once adopted the sugges- 
tion ; indeed, to a certain extent it had already been anticipat- 
ed by us that, instead of proceeding to match, as it were, one 
Bill as a whole against the other, we should enable the House 
to consider one by one in Committee Resolutions, the principles 
of which were involved in each, and out of those Resolutions 
16 



122 THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 

to frame a measure which might receive the sanction of the 
Legislature. The Government, therefore, acting on that sugges- 
tion, prepared a series of Resolutions, which were submitted 
seriatim to the consideration of the House of Commons ; and 
it is only doing that House the barest justice to say, that 
during the whole of my experience in Parliament I have never 
known a question which has been treated by that House with 
more patience, with more deliberate attention, with greater 
temper, and with more entire absence on all sides of party 
feeling or acrimonious discussion. The result of that course of 
proceeding is, that there has been sent up to your Lordships' 
House a measure not carried by a bare majority, not depend- 
ing for its success upon this or upon that political party, but a 
measure to a great extent the work of the House of Commons 
itself, and to which all parties concurred in giving their tribute of 
praise the noble Viscount at the head of the late Government 
uniting with the noble Lord the Member for the City of 
London in according to the third reading, not his hesitating 
but his cordial approval, and expressing his wishes for its suc- 
cess before your Lordships' House. My Lords, I now proceed 
very shortly to lay before your Lordships the principles and 
chief provisions of this Bill. * * * 

When it was determined that a change should take place in 
the Home Government of India, there was one principle which 
could not but meet with uniform and unanimous assent na- 
mely, that it was absolutely indispensable that a transfer of the 
nominal as well as the real authority should be made directly 
from the Company to the Crown, and that the affairs of India 
should thenceforth be conducted in the name of the Crown. My 
noble Friend (THE EARL OF ELLEN BOROUGH) who is not desirous 
of any very extensive change, laid the greatest stress on the 
necessity of that transfer, and dwelt upon the beneficial effects 
which it was likely to produce in India. Now, as before in- 
timated, I consider that the government of the East India 
Company, both here and in India, has been marked by singular 
prudence and ability, and I should be very sorry if this Bill 
was considered what it was represented to be at a meeting 
held at the India House yesterday a Bill of Pains and Penal- 
ties against the Directors. It is nothing of the sort. I believe 
no men could have conducted business better under the system 
which they found in operation than the Directors of the East 
India Company have done. But the complaints against the 
system itself, the encumbrances connected with its machinery, 



THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 123 

the delay which unavoidably attended the most important 
transactions, make it quite obvious that in any remodelling 
which may take place, India must be put on the same footing 
as the other possessions of the Crown, and be administered by 
a Minister responsible to Parliament. I may add that, in point 
of fact, the transfer of authority to the Crown is more nominal 
than real, because, although the Court of Directors have been in 
a position to exercise certain powers of obstruction and delay 
I believe that, with the single exception of the power of recall- 
ing the Governor General, there was no single act which they 
were enabled to perform without the assent of the President 
of the Board of Control. Not only does the President of the 
Board of Control possess the power of altering or of vetoing 
the instructions proposed by the Court of Directors, but he has 
the power, and it has been sometimes exercised, of sending out 
instructions diametrically opposed to those which the Court 
intended. There is a question whether the Court might not 
have interposed delay, and even persisted, until compelled by 
a mandamus ; but in point of fact they have generally been 
obliged to yield to the suggestions of the President of the Board 
of Control. We all remember that my noble Friend below me 
(THE EARL OF ELLENBOROUGH> who has on various occasions 
been at the head of the Board of Control, told the Committee that 
when he was in office the government of India was in his hands 
altogether. Upon the subject, then, of the transfer of the pow- 
ers of the Court of Directors to a responsible Minister of the 
Crown, and of carrying on all business both here and in India 
in the name and by the direct authority of the Crown, there was 
no difference of opinion between the two parties into which the 
House of Commons was divided. Nor was there any difference 
of opinion on this point that although it was expedient that 
the business should be conducted by a high Ministerial officer, 
under whatever denomination he might be known, who should, 
like the holders of other offices in the Government, be appoint- 
ed by the Crown and responsible to Parliament, yet, inasmuch 
as it is impossible to conceive that any person so appointed 
would have sufficient knowledge and experience to discharge 
duties so various and so complicated as those connected with 
the administration of all the different provinces of India, it was 
necessary for the good government of India, to associate with 
the Minister a Council more or less numerous by whom he 
might be assisted and advised. It was with regard to the con- 
stitution of that Council that there existed the main difference 



124 THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 

of opinion between Her Majesty's late Government and Her 
Majesty's present Government. Her Majesty's late Govern- 
ment proposed that the Council should consist of eight mem- 
bers who should each hold office for six years, all nominated by 
the Minister of the Crown, and two of whom should retire from 
office each alternate year. Now, the present Government was 
of opinion that, although in that manner the President of the 
Board of Control might surround himself with many able and 
experienced advisers, due provision was not made for securing 
to the Council that character of independence which was abso- 
lutely essential to the proper discharge of its functions. It was 
quite clear that when one-third of the members of the Board 
had been only recently appointed by the actual President of the 
Board, and another third would soon vacate their offices, and 
were hoping, perhaps, to be re-appointed by the same Minister, 
there would be great temptation presented to the Council to 
defer, more than they ought to do, to that Minister, and to re- 
frain from freely expressing their opinions. It was, moreover, 
the opinion of the members of the present Government that a 
Council of eight members would not be sufficiently numerous, 
having regard to the great extent of the duties which would 
have to be performed, and we thought that eighteen the 
present number of the Directors were not more than were 
required by the business of India. The Council of India we 
thought ought not to be as the Directors may have been 
before a screen between the Minister and Parliament, but a 
body of men well acquainted with the affairs of India, to give 
the Minister advice, which, on his own responsibility, he might 
be at liberty either to accept or reject. I have heard it said 
that, according to the peculiar character of the President of the 
Board of Control, the Council, as proposed to be constituted, 
would be either his masters, his advisers, or his puppets. It 
must, no doubt, depend on the character and the self-reliance 
of the head of any great Department how far he is influenced 
or controlled, how far he is guided, by those who filled per- 
manent situations, and to what extent he is the master of his 
own Department. For my own part, I certainly hope and be- 
lieve that the Council proposed by the Government under this 
Bill will be found neither the masters of the Secretary of State 
nor his puppets, but that they will prove that, which their 
qualifications prepare them to be, most valuable advisers to the 
Minister in all matters relating to India. But, to secure the 
independence of the Council we considered that one portion of 



THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 125 

it should be, as at present, elected, and the other portion nomi- 
nated by the Crown. We were also of opinion that both the 
elective and the nominated portion of the Council should have 
a longer term of service than was provided for by the Bill of the 
late Government, and that this would be of great importance as 
tending to increase their independence. Accordingly, it is 
proposed in the Bill before the House that the members of the 
Council, whether elective or nominative, shall hold their offices 
during good behaviour ; there being a proviso that at the ex- 
piration of ten years' service, if they are disabled by infirmity, 
they shall be entitled to retire upon suitable pensions. When 
we came to consider the elective principle, we found, I must 
confess, considerable difficulty. My noble Friend (THE EARL OF 
ELLENBOROUGH) who is not now a Member of the Government, 
but for whose proposition we are all responsible, laid before 
Parliament, on behalf of the Cabinet, a very elaborate scheme, 
a scheme involving considerations which ought, as it appeared 
to me, to be borne in mind by any Government when dealing 
with such a subject. My noble Friend proposed so to cons- 
titute a Council that it should be a representation of the civil 
and military services of India not merely of India, but of the 
three Presidencies ; because the qualifications which enable a 
man to give very valuable opinions with regard to Bengal may 
be utterly useless in relation to Madras or Bombay. The only 
objection which I have heard to the noble Earl's proposition is 
this not that it was wrong in itself, but that it was imperative, 
and would be found to fetter too much the hands of the Crown, 
who might under it be compelled to choose inefficient men and 
to pass over the most competent. There was another proposi- 
tion of the Government which did not meet with seeming great 
favour ; I mean the proposition by which they endeavoured to 
obtain, what it was very difficult to secure, a representation of 
the commercial interests connected with India in the Council. 
We proposed in that Bill to supply that deficiency by giving 
the appointment of four of the Councillors to the constituencies 
of the largest towns connected with the trade to India. That 
proposal was, I believe, a good one in itself ; but it did not 
meet with such an amount of support in Parliament, or in the 
country, as would justify us in insisting on its adoption. The 
conclusion at which we then arrived was, that with a view to 
secure the three great requisites of intelligence, experience, and 
independence in the Councillors, it was necessary that a portion 
of their body should be elected, that another portion should be 



126 THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 

nominated, and that all the parties elected should have served, 
or should at least have resided, for a considerable period in 
India, and should, consequently, have possessed opportunities 
of obtaining a knowledge of the feelings and of the wants of the 
people of that country ; while they were to hold office during 
the pleasure of the Crown, but should, of course, be removable, 
like other public servants, on an Address from both Houses of 
Parliament. But when we came to apply the principle of elec- 
tion we found that we had considerable difficulties to encounter. 
It could not be argued with hardly more than plausibility that 
the Court of Proprietors, as at present constituted, possessed any 
such interest in the affairs of India as to entitle them to elect 
the Councillors ; and yet there was no other body besides the 
Court of Proprietors to whom that duty could be committed. 
The functions of the Court of Proprietors, as your Lordships 
are aware, are limited to the mere receipt of the dividends on 
their stock ; and even under the system of Indian Government 
which has hitherto prevailed, although they could pass Resolu- 
tions, they had no means of giving effect to any decisions at 
which they might arrrive. It was proposed that there should 
be added to the Court of Proprietors all those persons who had 
for a certain period been engaged either in the civil or in the 
military service of India. But it was found that such a con- 
stituency would be very difficult to bring together, that it would 
be inconveniently large, and that it would in point of fact 
aggravate those disadvantages of the present system which 
prevent some of the most competent and most high-minded 
men from entering on the career necessary to ensure their re- 
turn as Members of the Court of Directors. Such men will not 
now go through a canvass for the appointment of Director, and 
still less would they go through a canvass of a more extensive 
body for the purpose of being elected members of Council. 
Under these circumstances, and after much consideration, Her 
Majesty's Government determined on adopting an arrangement 
under which one-half of the Councillors should be elected and 
one-half should be nominated by the Crown, and under which 
the elected members should be chosen by the existing Court of 
Directors, in conformity with a suggestion which had been 
thrown out by a noble Earl not now present (EARL GREY) at the 
commencement of the Session. Some arguments were certainly 
advanced against that scheme, but on the whole it met with no 
considerable opposition ; and I believe it was the best escape 
which could be devised from the difficulties in which the ques- 



THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 127 

tion was involved. This Council, so constituted, would be en- 
titled to tender its advice to the Secretary of State. And when 
I say "Secretary of State," I must add that, although the name 
which may be given to the head of the Indian Government may 
not be a matter of much importance, we thought that in the 
formation of such an office it would be more advisable and more 
in conformity with constitutional practice to give the name of 
Secretary of State to a high officer upon whom Her Majesty is 
pleased to devolve the exercise of duties under Her Royal 
sanction. As regards the Colonies and Foreign Affairs, so as 
regards India, the same title is given to the presiding officer, 
and there will be this additional convenience, though not at 
first contemplated, that either of the Secretaries of State will be 
able to sign papers and perform duties in the absence of the 
Secretary of State for India. I must also observe that there 
are two qualifications of the power which is given by this Bill to 
the Secretary of State of setting aside the authority and advice 
of his Council. He has full power of acting in opposition to 
their advice ; but if he should act in opposition to a majority of the 
body, he must state and place on record the reasons why he set 
aside their opinion ; and any Councillor whose advice is not 
adopted may also enter on the records of the office the reasons 
which induced him to give it. There is also a provision in the 
Bill which requires that the Secretary of State should call the 
Council together at periods of not more than one week. The 
measure, further, contains a provision to the effect that the 
Secretary may, if he should think fit, issue orders on an emer- 
gency without calling the Council together ; but he must in that 
case lay those orders before them at their next meeting. There 
is another provision, which I think your Lordships will believe 
to be absolutely necessary, for transferring to the Secre- 
tary of State that power which was exercised by what was 
called the "Secret Committee" of the Court of Directors 
namely, the power of sending out orders and instructions 
to India on particular subjects, without previously com- 
municating those orders and instructions to the Council. 
Now I do not mean to say that that power has not in 
certain cases been abused ; I do not mean to say that it has not 
been too extensively employed ; but I am sure your Lordships 
will agree with me that with regard to the two cases to which 
alone it is properly applicable namely, the carrying on of war 
or of diplomatic arrangements with Native States, it is absolute- 
ly necessary the Secretary of State should possess the right of 



128 THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 

preserving entire secrecy even from the members of the Council. 
There are two occasions on which the Secretary of State may 
be overruled by the judgment of the majority of the Council, 
and I think it is only reasonable that those two limitations 
should be imposed on his powers. The first of those limitations 
will arise in the case of the election of members of the Council. 
It is obvious that that election would be a farce if the authority 
of the Secretary of State were to be paramount in the matter. 
The only other limitation will be with regard to the expenditure 
of the revenues of India. With regard to this expenditure we 
must bear in mind the effective and bona-fide control over 
the Secretary of State by an independent body, such as I hope 
this Council will be. 

There are, I believe, only two other subjects to which I 
need now direct your Lordships' attention, and I allude to them 
because I think that, as far as they are concerned, the principle 
and the object of the Bill have been somewhat misunderstood. 
One relates to the employment of the Indian army, and the 
other relates to the admission to the civil service of India. The 
55th clause deals with the first of those subjects ; and it has 
been objected to that clause that it appears to interfere with the 
prerogative of the Crown, inasmuch as it provides that none of 
Her Majesty's forces maintained out of the revenues of India 
shall be taken, except in cases of urgent emergency, beyond the 
frontiers of that country without the previous consent of Parlia- 
ment. Now, it has been thought and I confess that the word- 
ing of the clause makes it open to a construction which was not 
intended by its framers it has been thought that that would 
be an interference with the undoubted prerogative of the Crown 
to make war or peace. But your Lordships will recollect that, 
although there is no prerogative of the Crown more indisputable 
than that of making war or peace, the constitution has provided 
an equally indisputable check on the practical exercise of that 
prerogative by rendering it necessary for the Crown to come to 
Parliament for the supplies necessary to raise and maintain the 
troops, without which it would be impossible to carry on a war. 
But with regard to the troops in India there is, and there can 
be, no such Parliamentary control ; and consequently, if there 
were no such provision in the Bill as that to which I have 
referred, it might have been competent I do not say there is 
any danger, but the danger might be possible under a Sovereign 
less constitutional than Her under whom we have the happiness 
to live for the Crown to employ the Indian troops in wars 



THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 129 

wholly and entirely unsanctioned by Parliament, and the whole 
force of India might be carried to any portion of the world 
without the interposition 'of that practical pecuniary check 
to which I have alluded. In the Bill of the late Government 
that principle of restricting the power of the Crown was enforc- 
ed by a clause which provided that Her Majesty should not be 
enabled to send out of Asia (not out of India) any part of the 
forces maintained out of the Indian revenues. Now, as far as 
regards the restriction of the prerogative of the Crown, the 
principle is precisely the same, whether the provision be that 
the troops should not be sent beyond the limits of Asia, or that 
they should not be sent beyond the limits of our Indian possess- 
ions ; and it would be perfectly competent to Parliament, in 
handing over to the Crown the government of that vast empire, 
to make the restriction even greater, and to provide that for the 
future the Indian forces should be placed on the footing of a 
militia, and should not be liable to serve beyond their own 
territory. But while the principle of the exception in the Bill 
of the late Government was the same as ours, the limitation 
which they put upon that principle allowed that which is the 
true and substantial danger in this matter. Within Asia the 
Crown might carry on a war with Persia, or with China, or even 
with Russia, with no further exception that the forces should 
not serve out of Asia, and that might be done without Parlia- 
ment having any control over the expenditure, or any right 
to express an opinion on the propriety of the war. Our inten- 
tion, however, is not to limit the prerogative of the Crown, but to 
protect the revenues of India ; and consequently when we come 
to that clause I mean to propose in it an Amendment which 
will, I think, remove all ambiguity upon this point. It will be 
to the effect that, except for the purpose of preventing or repell- 
ing actual invasion of Her Majesty's Indian possessions, or in 
order to meet some sudden and urgent emergency, the revenues 
of India shall not, without the consent of Parliament, be appli- 
cable to the expense of any military operations carried on be- 
yond India by Her Majesty's forces chargeable on such revenues. 
That provision will impose a pecuniary check on the preroga- 
tive of the Crown in regard to the army of India, such as already 
exists in the case of all other portions of Her Majesty's forces. 
The other point to which I wish to advert is the admission to 
the civil service of India, which is dealt with by the 32nd or 
33rd clause of the Bill. As the law at present stands, all 
persons are admitted to that service after such examinations as 

17 



130 THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 

shall from time to time be prescribed, and under such regulations 
as may be laid down by the Court of Directors and the President 
of the Board of Control. That power we now propose to trans- 
fer to the Secretary of State. But the Bill, as it stands at pre- 
sent, goes further, I think, than the justice of the case warrants ; 
it gives to the principle of competitive examination that which 
it has never yet received namely, the sanction of an Act of 
Parliament binding the hands of the Executive in all cases, and 
rendering compulsory a strict adherence to the principle, not of 
examination, but of competitive examination. It is my inten- 
tion to move the omission from the clause of the words which 
render it necessary for the Government to admit candidates to 
the civil service in the order of their proficiency in the competi- 
tive examination, leaving the law as it stands with regard to 
admission to the Indian civil service, subject to such regulations 
as may be issued by the Secretary of State, with the approval 
of the Crown, and laid before Parliament. 

My Lords There is one other most important point 
namely, the reconstruction and organization of the future 
Indian army. That is a question of the most vital importance, 
and will require the most careful consideration ; and Her 
Majesty has been advised, and will, I believe, act upon the 
advice, to issue a Commission for the purpose of instituting an 
inquiry into all the subjects connected with the reorganisation 
of the future forces to be employed in India. This Commission 
will have to consider the proportion of Europeans to be employ- 
ed, the mode in which they shall be relieved, the conditions 
upon which they shall serve, the number of the Native army, 
and the conditions upon which they shall be engaged, and 
every other question connected with the future permanent 
military establishment of India when the revolt shall have been 
happily put down. In the meantime it will be necessary for 
Parliament to provide for the maintenance of the present state 
of things until the result of this Commission shall be known, 
and until Parliament shall have acted upon its recommenda- 
tions. The Bill, therefore, provides what may be necessary for the 
present, leaving to Her Majesty the perfect freedom of making 
such regulations for the future administration of the Army, 
both as regards the European and Native troops, as she may 
be advised. The Bill also provides, as far as it refers to 
individuals and bodies, that they shall have reserved to them 
all the rights, privileges, and expectations which they were 
led to form at the time of their admission to the service. It 



THE EARL OF DERBY'S SPEECH, 1858. 131 

would be the grossest injustice to introduce a similar system 
at once in both descriptions of the Indian force, and to apply 
the same principles to those who shall hereafter enter and 
those who entered the service under different expectations. 

I have now stated to your Lordships I trust not at too 
great length the principles of the measure to which I ask 
your Lordships to assent. The Bill has received the careful 
deliberation and attention of the House of Commons, and it 
has been sent up to your Lordships with the universal con- 
currence of that House. I have perhaps entered at too great 
length into an explanation of a measure to which no objection 
will probably be made ; but while the labours of the House of 
Commons render it probable that no very numerous Amend- 
ments will be necessary, Her Majesty's Government will be 
happy to give the fullest and most impartial consideration to 
any Amendments which may be suggested in the course of the 
discussion of this Bill. 



PART II. 

DOCUMENTS RELATING TO THE CONSTITUTION 
OF THE COUNCIL OF INDIA. 

(1869-1907.) 
I. THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1869. 

(32 & 33 Viet., Ch, 97.) 

AN ACT TO AMEND IN CERTAIN RESPECTS THE ACT FOR 
THE BETTER GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. 

(nth August 1869.) 

Whereas it is expedient that the Act of the twenty-first 
and twenty-second years of Victoria, Chapter one hundred and 
six, intituled, "An Act for the better government of India," 
should be amended as regards the duration of service and the 
remuneration of members of the Council of India, and in certain 
other respects : 

And whereas it is provided by the said recited Act that 
every member of the said Council elected or appointed under 
that Act shall hold office during good behaviour : 

Be it therefore enacted etc.* * * as follows : 

1. After the passing of this Act, all vacancies that shall 

take place in the said Council shall be 
filled up by appointment by the Secretary 
of State. 

2. Every member of the said Council who shall, after the 

Members of Council P assin g of this A ^> be so appointed, shall 
of India to be in future be appointed for a term of ten years, and 

appointed for ten years. , /., i i n i 

except as hereinafter provided, shall not be 
re-eligible. 

3. It shall be lawful for the Secretary of State to re- 
R ..appo,ntm.n, . appoint for a farther period of five years 

member for farther any person whose term of office as member 

period of five years. Qf 



expired, provided such re-appointment be made for special 



THE COUNCIL OF INDIA ACT, 1876. 133 

reasons of public advantage, which reasons shall be set forth 
in a minute signed by the said Secretary of State, and laid 
before both Houses of Parliament. 

4. Except as herein otherwise provided, all the provisions 

of the said recited Act, and of any other 
toiiTt u r me A mbeJs. apply Act of Parliament relating to members of 

the Council of India, shall apply to mem- 
bers appointed under the provisions of this Act. 

5. [Repeals S. 14 of 21 & 22 Viet. C. 106.] 

6. Any member of Council may by writing under his 

hand, which shall be recorded in the 
ffice ' minutes of the Council, resign his office;* 

7. If at any time hereafter it should appear to Parliament 

_ . . expedient to reduce the number or other- 

Provision as to future . .. . . . _ 

changes in the constitu- wise to deal with the constitution of the 
said Council, no member of Council who 
has not served in his office for a period of ten years shall be 
entitled to claim any compensation for the loss of his office, or 
for any alteration in the terms and conditions under which the 
same is held. 

8. The appointments of the ordinary members of the 
Appointment of ordi. Governor-General's Council, and of the 

nary members of the members of Council of the several presiden- 

Ge vernor-Qener al's . ***i_ii*.**i_ j i_ TT 

council and of the Presi- cies * * shall * ' be made by Her 
Majesty by warrant under Her Royal Sign 
Manual. 



II. THE COUNCIL OF INDIA ACT. 1876. 

(39 & 40 Viet , Ch. 7.) 

AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO CERTAIN 
APPOINTMENTS TO THE COUNCIL OF INDIA. 

(7th April, 1876.) 

Whereas by an Act of the thirty-second and thirty-third 
years of Her present Majesty, Chapter ninety-seven (in this 
Act referred to as the Act of 1869), it was, among other things, 
provided that the members of the Council of India were to hold 



134 TH E COUNCIL OF INDIA ACT, 1907. 

their offices for a period of ten years, and for such further period 
as is in section three of the said Act mentioned : 

And whereas, regard being had to the composition of the 
said Council contemplated in section ten of the Act of the 
twenty-first and twenty-second years of Her present Majesty, 
chapter one hundred and six (in this Act referred to as the 
Act of 1858), it is expedient to amend the said first-mentioned 
Act in certain particulars : 

Be it enacted * * * * as follows : 

I. Notwithstanding anything in the Act of 1869, the 
A __ .. Secretary of State for India may, if he 

Appointment of per- , . . * , . , _. *' 

sons with professional or thinks fit, subject to the condition as to the 
number of appointments hereinafter laid 
down, appoint any person having professional or other peculiar 
qualifications to be a member of the said Council under this 
Act and every person so appointed shall hold his office in the 
same manner, and shall be entitled to the same salary, pension, 
and other rights and privileges, and be subject to the same 
disabilities, as if he had been elected or appointed before the 
passing of the Act of 1869. 

Where any person appointed under this Act is at his 
appointment a member of the Council, his period of service 
for the purposes of this Act shall be reckoned from the time of 
his first appointment or election to the Council. 

The special reasons for every appointment under this Act 
shall be stated in a minute of the Secretary of State for India, 
and shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament. Not more 
than three persons appointed under this Act shall be members 
of the Council at the same time ; nor shall the provisions of 
sections seven and ten of the Act 0/1858, with reference to the 
number of the Council and the qualification of the major part 
of the members, be affected by this Act. 

III. THE COUNCIL OF INDIA ACT, 1907 

(7 Edw. 7 Ch. 35.) 

AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW AS TO THE COUNCIL OF INDIA. 
(28th August, 1907.) 

Be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and 



THE COUNCIL OF INDIA ACT, IQO?. 135 

Temporal and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, 
and by the authority of the same, as follows ; 

1. The Council of India shall consist of such number of 

members, not less than ten and not more 
of couinc b ii r f members than fourteen, as the Secretary of State 
may from time to time determine. 

2. In section ten of the Government of India Act, 1858, 

the words "more than five years" shall be 
substituted for the words "more than ten 
years." 

3. Section thirteen of the same Act shall, as regards any 

member appointed after the passing of this 
salaries. Act, be read and construed as if the words 

one thousand pounds were substituted for 
the words one thousand two hundred pounds. 

4. Section two of the Government of India Act, 1869, 

shall, as regards any appointment made 
33Vi e c r t m c. of 97 " ice ' 32& after the passing of this Act, be read and 

construed as if the word 'seven" were subs- 
tituted for the word "ten." 

5. The Council of India Act, 1876, 
and the Council of India Reduction Act, 
are hereby repealed. 

6. This Act may be cited as the 



Short title. 



Council of India Act, 1907. 



PART III. 

DOCUMENTS RELATING MAINLY TO THE 
CONSTITUTION OF THE (IMPERIAL 
AND PROVINCIAL) EXECUTIVE 
GOVERNMENT. 

(1865-1912). 
I. THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1865. 

(28 and 29 Viet, Ch. i?) 

AN ACT TO ENLARGE THE POWERS OF THE GOVERNOR- 
GENERAL OF INDIA IN COUNCIL AT MEETINGS FOR MAKING 

LAWS AND REGULATIONS AND TO AMEND THE LAW RES- 
PECTING THE TERRITORIAL LIMITS OF THE SEVERAL PRE- 
SIDENCIES AND LIEUTENANT-GOVERNORSHIPS IN INDIA. 

[9th May, 1865] 

1. The Governor-General of India shall have power, at 
oovernor.Qener.1 may meetings for the purpose of making laws 

make laws for aii British and regulations, to make laws and regula- 
tions for all British subjects of Her Majesty 

within the dominions of Princes and States in India in alliance 
with Her Majesty, whether in the service of the Government 
of India or otherwise. 

2. The preceding section shall be read with and taken as 

sec. i. to be read as P art of section twenty-two of the said Act 
part of s'ection 22 of 24 of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth years 
of Her Majesty, chapter sixty-seven. 

3. [Repeals sec. 18, of 16 & 17 Viet c. 95.] 

4. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General of India in 

Council from time to time to declare and 
appoint, by proclamation, what part or 
&c * by P arts of the Indian territories for the time 
being under the dominion of Her Majesty 
shall be or continue subject to each of the Presidencies and 
Lieutenant-Governorships for the time being subsisting in such 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1874. 137 

territories, and to make such distribution and arrangement or 
new distribution and arrangement, of such territories into or 
among such presidencies and Lieutenant-Governorships as to 
the said Governor-General in Council may seem expedient. 

5. Provided always that it shall be lawful for the Secre- 
tary of State in Council to signify to the 
staJe councu to^i?' said Governor-General in Council his dis- 
auow such prociama- allowance of any proclamation : and pro- 
vided further, that no such proclamation 
for the purpose of transferring an entire Zilla or district from 
one Presidency to another or from one Lieutenant-Governorship 
to another shall have any force or validity until the sanction 
of Her Majesty to the same shall have been previously 
signified by the Secretary of State in Council to the Governor- 
General. 

II. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1874. 

(37 and 38 Viet, Ch. 91) 

AN ACT TO AMEND THE LAW RELATING TO THE COUN- 
CIL OF THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA. 

(7th August, 1874). 

Whereas it is expedient to amend the law relating to the 
Council of the Governor-General of India : Be it enacted, etc., as 
follows : - 

i. It shall be lawful for Her Majesty, if she shall see fit, 
to increase the number of the ordinary 
M?be b " o f aSJXSSE members of the Council of the Governor- 
be 6 inc r r a ea!ed. uncil may General of India to six > b y appointing any 
person, from time to time, by warrant 

under Her Royal Sign Manual, to be an ordinary member of 
the said Council in addition to the ordinary members thereof 
appointed under section three of the "Indian Councils Act, 1861" 
and under section eight of the Act of the thirty-second and 
thirty-third years of Her present Majesty, chapter ninety-seven. 
The law for the time being in force with reference to ordinary 
members of the Council of the Governor-General of India shall 
apply to the person so appointed by Her Majesty under this 
Act, who shall be called the Member of Council for Public 
Works purposes. 

18 



138 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1904. 

2. Whenever a member of Council for Public Works pur- 
M w , v . poses shall have been appointed under the 

Number of Members of ,. r ,, . A , ?/ , ,. . . r . 

council may be subse- first section of this Act, it shall be lawful 

quently diminished. for Her Ma j estVj jf she shall gee fit> to dim j_ 

nish, from time to time, the number of the ordinary members 
of the Council of the Governor- General of India to five, by 
abstaining, so long as she shall deem proper, from filling up any 
vacancy or vacancies occurring in the offices of the ordinary 
members of the said Council appointed under section three of 
"The Indian Councils Act, 1861," and under section eight of the 
Act of the thirty-second and third-third years of Her present 
Majesty, chapter ninety-seven, not being a vacancy in the office 
of the ordinary member of Council required by law to be a 
barrister or a member of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland, 
and whenever the Secretary of State for India shall have informed 
the Governor-General of India that it is not the intention of 
Her Majesty to fill up any vacancy, no temporary appoint- 
ment shall be made to such vacancy under section twenty- 
seven of "Indian Councils Act, 1861," and if any such temporary 
appointment shall have been made previously to the receipt of 
such information, the tenure of office of the person temporarily 
appointed shall cease and determine from the time of the receipt 
of such information by the Governor-General. 

3. Nothing in this Act contained shall affect the provi- 

sions of section eight of "The Indian 
Go^rnor^olne^r^fn Councils Act, 1 86 1," or the provisions of 
respect of his council. sec tion five of the Act of the thirty-third 
year of Her Majesty, chapter three, or any power or authority 
vested by law in the Governor-General of India in respect of 
his Council or of the member thereof. 

HI. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1904. 

(4 Edw. 7., ch, 26.) 
AN ACT TO AMEND THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1874. 

[i 5th August, 1904.] 

Be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty etc. 
* * * * as follows : 

i. In section one of the Indian Councils Act, 1874, the 
words "who shall be called the member of council for Public 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, IQI2. 139 

Works purposes", and in section two of the same Act the 
words "for Public Works purposes" are hereby repealed. 

2. The Act shall be cited as the Indian Councils Act, 1904. 

IV. GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1912. 

(2 and 3 Geo. V, ch. 6) 
A. 

AN ACT TO MAKE SUCH AMENDMENTS IN THE LAW 

RELATING TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA AS ARE CONSE- 
QUENTIAL ON THE APPOINTMENT OF A SEPARATE GOVERNOR 
OF FORT WILLIAM IN BENGAL, AND OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE 

CHANGES IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. 
[25th June, 1912.] 

Whereas His Majesty has been pleased to appoint a Gov- 
ernor of the presidency of Fort William in Bengal as delimited 
by a proclamation made by the Governor-General in Council 
and dated the twenty-second day of March nineteen hundred 
and twelve : 

And whereas the Governor-General in Council by two 
further proclamations of the same date has constituted a new 
province under a Lieutenant-Governor, styled the province of 
Bihar and Orissa, and has taken the province of Assam under 
the immediate authority and management of the Governor- 
General in Council : 

And whereas it is expedient to declare what powers are 
exerciseable by the Governor and Governor in council of the 
presidency of Fort William in Bengal and to make other 
provisions with respect to the administative changes effected as 
aforesaid : 

Be it therefore enacted by the King's most Excellent 
Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords 
Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parlia- 
ment assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows : 

i. (i) It is hereby declared that the Governor and Gover- 
nor in Council of the presidency of Fort 

F^rt^mum^nT^ngai! William in Bengal shall, within that presi- 
dency as so delimited as aforesaid, have all 

the rights, duties, functions, and immunities which the Governors 



140 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, IQI2. 

and Governors in Council of the presidencies of Fort St. 
George and Bombay respectively possess, and all enactments 
relating to the Governors of those presidencies and the 
councils (whether for executive or legislative purposes) thereof 
and the members of those councils shall apply accordingly to 
the Governor of the presidency of Fort William in Bengal, 
and his council and the members of that council : 

Provided that 

(a) if the Governor-General in council reserves to him- 

self any powers now exerciseable by him in rela- 
tion to the presidency of Fort William in Bengal, 
those powers shall continue to be exerciseable by 
the Governor-General in council in the like 
manner and to the like extent as heretofore ; and 

(b) it shall not be obligatory to nominate the advocate- 

general of the presidency of Fort William in 
Bengal or any officer acting in that capacity to be 
a member of the legislative council of the Gover- 
nor of that presidency. 

(2) The power of the Governor-General in council under 

section one of the Indian Presidency 

ss Geo. in, c. 84. Towns Act, 1815, to extend the limits of 

the town of Calcutta shall be transferred 

to the Governor in council of the presidency of Fort William 

in Bengal. 

2. The provisions of subsection (i) of section three of the 

Indian Councils Act, 1909 (which relate 

Provisions as to the to the constitution of provincial executive 

9*E4w?Vfi t c. 4. ' councils), shall apply to the province of 

Bihar and Orissa in like manner as they 
applied to the province of the Bengal division of the presi- 
dency of Fort William. 

3. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General in council 

by proclamation to extend, subject to 

creation oi legisia- such modifications and adaptations as he 

commissioners. f may consider necessary, the provisions of 

the Indian Councils Acts, 1861 to 1909, 

touching the making of laws and regulations for the 

peace and good government of provinces under Lieutenant- 

Governors (including the provisions as to the constitution 

of legislative councils for such provinces and the business 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, IQI2. 141 

to be transacted therein) to any territories for the time 
being under a chief commissioner, and where such pro- 
visions have been applied to any such territories the proviso to 
section three of the Government of India Act, 1854 (which 
relates to the alteration of laws and regulations in such 
17 & is vict. c. 77. territories), shall not apply to those 
territories. 

4. (i) The enactments mentioned in Part I of the 
Schedule to the Act shall have effect sub- 
Alenmend sI5Kj! ject to the amendments therein specified, 
S2 ' 3&4 and section fifty-seven of the East India 
Company Act, 1793, and section seventy- 
one of the Government of India Act, 1833 (which relate to the 
filling up of vacancies in the Indian Civil Service), and the 
other enactments mentioned in Part 1 1 of that Schedule are 
hereby repealed. 

(2) Nothing in this Act or in the said recited proclama- 
tions shall affect the power of the Governor-General in Council 
of making new distributions and arrangements of territories into 
and among the various presidencies and lieutenant-governorships 
and it is hereby declared that the said power extends to 
territories under the immediate authority and management of 
the Governor-General in Council as well as to territories subject 
to the several presidencies and Lieutenant-Governorships. 

5. This Act may be cited as the Government of India Act, 
1912, and shall come into operation on 
men S cement! Ie and coma such <?ay as the Governor-General in 
Council, with the approval of the Secre- 
tary of State in Council, may appoint. 

SCHEDULE. 
PART I. 

AMENDMENTS. 

In section fifty of the Indian Councils Act, 1861 ^24 & 25 
Vict. c. 67), after the words 'then and in every such case/ there 
shall be inserted the words 'the Governor of the Presidency of 
Fort William in Bengal.' 

In the first Schedule to the Indian Councils Act, 1909 
(9 Edw. VII, c. 4), there shall be inserted 



142 LORD CREWE'S SPEECH, igi2. 

( Legislative Council of the Governor of Fort William' 
in Bengal ...... 50 

' Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of 
Bihar and Orissa . . . . .50 

PART II. 
REPEALS. 

Sections fifty-three and fifty-seven of the East India 
Company Act, 1793 (33 Geo. Ill, c. 52) 

In section sixty-two of the Government of India Act, 1833 
(3 & 4 Will. IV, 0.85), the words 'and Governor of the Presidency 
of Fort William in Bengal,' and section seventy-one of the same 
Act. 

In section fifty of the Indian Councils Act, 1861 124 & 25 
Viet. c. 67), the words 'and Governor of the Presidency of Fort 
William in Bengal.' 

In the First Schedule to the Indian Councils Act, 1909 
(9 Edw. VII, c. 4), the following words : 

'Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of 
the Bengal Division of the Presidency of Fort William 50 

( Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of 
the Province of Eastern Bengal and Assam . . 50' 

B. 

EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH OF THE MARQUESS OF 
CREWE IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS ON JUNE 17, 1912. 

The Lord Privy Seal and Secretary of State for India (The 
MARQUESS OF CREWE, in the course of his speech on the second 
reading of the Government of India Bill, said : 

The Preamble of this Bill states the various Executive 
acts which have been performed in this country and in India 
under the powers that belong to His Majesty and to the 
respective Governments. It has been argued, although it is not 
a point, I think, on which it is worth while to dwell at any 
length, that these Executive acts to some extent suffer from 
being exercised under ancient and archaic Statutes which were 
passed in circumstances altogether different. It might be ob- 



LORD CREWE'S SPEECH, IQI2. 143 

served that all our British liberties, both as subjects of the 
Crown and as citizens, depend upon very much older Statutes 
than those which are here in question ; but it is more to the 
point to remark that, as a matter of fact, all the powers which 
we exercise in relation to the Government of India, practically 
all the main powers exercised by the Secretary of State in 
Council, are simply transferred and taken over bodily from the 
powers formerly exercised by the court of Directors of the East 
India Company under the direction and control of the Board 
of Commissioners who at that time administered Indian affairs. 
The acts, therefore, which the Secretary of State in Council 
performs every week at the India Office are, if our critics will 
have it so, open to a kindred objection to that which seems 
to be taken to the exercise of the administrative powers which 
preceded this Bill and are mentioned in the Preamble. 

The steps which were taken were five in number. They 
were as follow. The Secretary of State in Council declared, 
by the powers given him in the Act of 1853, that the Governor 
General should no longer be Governor of the Presidency of 
Fort William in Bengal, but that a separate Governor should be 
appointed for that Presidency. That having been done, His 
Majesty was pleased to appoint a Governor of the Presidency 
in the person of SIR THOMAS CARMICHAEL, who up to that time 
had been Governor of Madras. The three other Executive steps 
were taken in India. The first was the proclamation by the 
Governor-General in Council of the new Province of Behar and 
Orissa under a Lieutenant Governor ; that was done under the 
Act of 1 86 1. The second was the creation of Assam into a 
Chief Commissionership under the Act of 1854 ; and the third 
was the delimitation of the extent of Presidency of Fort William 
in Bengal. 

I now come to the clauses of the Bill. The first clause 
declares that the Governor of Bengal should have all the rights, 
duties, and functions which the Governors of Madras and 
Bombay possess. The effect of this clause is to give the Gov- 
ernor of Bengal those extra powers given by the later enact- 
mentsthat is to say, those subsequent to 1853 under which 
power was taken to apply to any new Presidency the powers 
which the Governors of the other Presidencies possessed up to 
that time. Then the House will observe that two provisos are 
attached to this first clause. Those provisos depend upon the 
fact that the powers of the Calcutta High Court are not, as 



144 LORD CREWE'S SPEECH, 1912. 

matters stand, curtailed, although the area of Bengal is changed 
and the new Lieutenant-Governorship is created. The power 
which is pointed to in proviso (a) is this, that the High Courts 
Acts of 1860 and 1911 give the Governor-General power to 
appoint temporary Judges for the High Court of Calcutta. 
Now those Judges, besides administering justice in Bengal 
itself, will administer it for the Lieutenant-Governorship of 
Behar and Orissa, and we think that this fact points to the 
denomination of such temporary Judges by the Governor- 
General and not by the Governor of Bengal. Proviso (b) also 
hinges on the fact that for the present we are dealing in no 
way with the High Court of Calcutta. The Advocate-General 
of Bengal has hitherto been the Law officer of the Government 
of India and also of the Bengal Government ; and so long as 
the two Governments inhabited the same capital it was a rea- 
sonable matter that this Advocate -General should be a mem- 
ber of the Legislative Council of Bengal. But now that the 
separation has taken place, and pending any permanent arrange- 
ments which are made in the future with regard to this appoint- 
ment, that necessity does not exist, and power is accordingly 
taken in this proviso to absolve, if necessary, the legal adviser 
of the Government of India from being a member of the 
Bengal Council. 

Clause 2 authorises the creation of an Executive Council 
for the new Lieutenant-Governorship of Behar and Orissa. 
As I dare say some of your Lordships may remember, because 
the question was one which aroused some debate in 1909, the 
ordinary procedure for creating an Executive Council is by 
an Order which lies on the table of both Houses of Parliament 
for a period, I think, of 60 days. The object of that, of course, 
is to give Parliament the necessary control, and, if desired, the 
power of veto on the appointment of such an Executive council. 
But since this Bill is being passed through Parliament it is 
clearly a simpler proceeding and one which would save time 
to insert the creation of that Executive Council in the Act 
rather than go through the more cumbersome procedure of 
allowing the appointment to lie on the Table of Parliament. 

Clause 3 authorises the Governor-General to constitute 
Legislative Councils for territories under a Chief Commissioner. 
The prime object of the inclusion of this provision is the ap- 
pointment of a Legislative Council for Assam. Assam, having 
been part for the last few years of the Lieutenant-Governorship 



LORD CREWE'S SPEECH, 1912. 145 

of Eastern Bengal and Assam, has enjoyed the advantages of 
a Legislative Council, and I am sure that the House will be 
disposed to agree that it would be not merely an unreasonsable 
slight but a positive disadvantage to inflict upon the inhabi- 
tants of Assam, who, as your Lordships know, represent for one 
thing one of the most important industries in India it would 
be a slight upon them if they were to be deprived of this repre- 
sentation. That, as I say, was the prime reason for introducing 
this provision. But it is also true that it will be desirable for 
the Government of India to take power to constitute a similar 
Council for the Central Provinces a division which is quite 
right for such an enhancement of its governmental dignity, if 
I may use the phrase, and in which the advent of the Council 
will, as we know, be extremely welcome. Those are, indeed, 
the two Chief Commissionerships to which Councils are for the 
time being clearly applicable. 

Clause 4 explains the changes and repeals set out in the 
two parts of the Schedule. In Part I of the Schedule the Act 
of 1 86 1 is amended by placing the Governor of Bengal in the 
same position as the Governors of Madras and Bombay for 
this purpose namely, that the senior Governor should replace 
the Viceroy when for any reason there is no Viceroy. There 
has not, I believe, been in fact such a case since the lamenta- 
ble death of LORD MAYO, because when the noble Lord opposite 
(LORD AMPTHILL) took the place of the noble Earl on the Front 
Bench opposite (LORD CURZON) he was not, I think I am right 
in saying, Acting- Viceroy, but actual Viceroy for the time 
being. But it is clearly right that the Goveror of Bengal should 
not be placed in an inferior position to that of his two brother 
Governors in this respect of automatic succession to a moment- 
ary vacancy in the Governorship-General. Part I of the Sche- 
dule also names the maximum figures for the two Legislative 
Councils of Bengal and of Behar and Orissa. 

Then in Part II of the Schedule there are various repeals. 
The only one to which I need draw attention is the first Sec- 
tions 53 and 57 of the East India Company Act, 1793, which 
refers to the filling up of vacancies in the Indian Civil Service. 
It is provided in this Act that Civil servants shall be employed 
in the Presidency to which they were originally allotted and 
to which they belonged. In the old days when this Act was 
passed that was a simple enough matter. All India was, like 
ancient Gaul, divided into three parts : it consisted of Madras 

19 



146 LORD CREWE'S SPEECH, 1912. 

and Bombay ; all the rest of British India was included in the 
term Fort YVilliam in Bengal. It was, therefore, reasonable 
enough that the various divisons should be self-contained and 
complete. Now, of course, to confine the newly-formed 
Presidency of Bengal within such a strict rule as that would be 
contrary to the interests of the public service. But it is right 
to inform your Lordships that the effect of the repeal will be a 
somewhat wider one even than that which I have indicated, 
because the effect of the repeal is that the Civil servants of Madras 
and Bombay will also become interchangeable with those of 
Bengal in a manner which has not hitherto been strictly the case. 

Perhaps I might also explain the point, it is a small one, 
in the second sub-section of Clause 4 the power of the Gov- 
ernor-General in Council to make new distributions and ar- 
rangements of territories into and among the various Presi- 
dencies and Lieutenant-Governorships. There has been some 
doubt as to what the power of the Governor-General is in 
these respects. The legal assumption is that, although the 
Governor-General in Council is empowered to transfer any 
terrritory by alteration of boundaries from a Chief Commis- 
sionership to a Presidency, or to a Lieutenant-Governorship, 
it is not possible for him, owing to the wording of the Act of 
Parliament, to carry out the reverse process. There seems 
to be no conceiveable object in such a restriction, and it dis- 
appears under subsection (2) of Clause 4. 

I am afraid I have detained the House at somewhat undue 
length over those technical explanations, but, although technical 
the subject is one of such importance that it is advisable to 
make clear this measure, which sins even to an usual extent in 
modern legislation in respect of being legislation by reference. 
I am not without hope that one of these days we shall be able 
to introduce a consolidating measure which will reduce to order 
the amazing tangle of all these old Acts of Parliament relating 
to the Government of India. It will be possible, I hope, to do 
that without introducing any controversial matter, and even I 
should hope, in the main, without introducing anything which 
could be called new matter ; and I have no doubt that noble 
Lords opposite who are interested in India will also agree that 
it would be a serviceable thing to do. At any rate, it would 
avoid the long and technical explanation which I have been 
obliged to give this afternoon of matters which, though con- 
nected with a highly important subject, cannot in themselves 
be deemed to be of great importance. 



PART IV 

DOCUMENTS RELATING MAINLY TO THE 

CONSTITUTION OF THE (IMPERIAL 

AND PROVINCIAL) LEGISLATIVE 

COUNCILS. 

(1861-1909). 
I. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1861. 

(24 & 25 Viet. C 67). 
A. 

AN ACT TO MAKE BETTER PROVISION FOR THE CONSTITU- 
TION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF INDIA, 
AND FOR THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF THE SEVERAL PRESI- 
DENCIES AND PROVINCES OF INDIA, AND FOR THE TEMPORARY 
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA IN THE EVENT OF A VACANCY IN THE 
OFFICE OF GOVERNOR- GENERAL. 

(ist. August, 1861). 

"Whereas it is expedient that the provisions of former 
Acts of Parliament respecting the constitution and functions 
of the Council of the Governor-General of India should be 
consolidated and in certain respects amended, and that power 
should be given to the Governors in Council of the Presidencies 
of Fort Saint George and Bombay to make laws and regulations 
for the Government of the said Presidencies, and that provision 
should be made for constituting the like authority in other 
parts of Her Majesty's Indian dominions" : Be it therefore 
declared and enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and 
Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, 
and by the authority of the same, as follows : 

I. This Act may be cited for all pur- 
poses as "The Indian Councils Act, 1861." 



148 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

2. Sections forty, forty-three, forty-four, fifty, sixty-six, 

seventy, and so much of sections sixty-one 
repea C iedf ndpart8ofActs an< ^ si xt y-f ur as relates to vacancies in the 

office of ordinary member of the Council 
of India, of the Act of the third and fourth years of King William 
the Fourth, chapter eighty-five, for effecting an arrangement 
with the East India Company, and for the better Government 
of Her Majesty's Indian territories, till the thirtieth day of 
April, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-four, sections 
twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, and twenty-six of the 
Act of the sixteenth and seventeenth years of Her Majesty, 
chapter ninety-five, "to provide for the Government of India" 
and the Act of the twenty-third and twenty-fourth years of 
Her Majesty, chapter eight-seven, "to remove doubts as to the 
authority of the senior member of the Council of the Governor- 
General of India in the absence of the president," are hereby 
repealed, and all other enactments whatsoever now in force 
with relation to the Council of the Governor-General of India, 
or to the Councils of the Governors of the respective 
Presidencies of Fort Saint George and Bombay, shall, save 
so far as the same are altered by or are repugnant to this Act, 
continue in force, and be applicable to the Council of the 
Governor-General of India and the Councils of the respective 
Presidencies under this Act. 

3. There shall be five ordinary members of the said 
composition o the Council of the Governor-General, three of 

council of the Governor- whom shall from time to time be appointed 
by the Secretary of State for India in 
Council, with the concurrence of a majority of members present 
at a meeting, from among such persons as shaU have been, at 
the time of such appointment, in the service in India of the 
Crown, or of the Company and the Crown, for at least ten years ; 
and if the person so appointed shall be in the military service 
of the Crown, he shall not, during his continuance in office as a 
member of Council, hold any military command, or be employ- 
ed in actual military duties ; and the remaining two, one of 
whom shall be a barrister or a member of the Faculty of 
advocates in Scotland of not less than five years' standing, shall 
be appointed from time to time by Her Majesty by warrant 
under Her Royal Sign Manual ; and it shall be lawful for the 
Secretary of State in Council to appoint the Commander-in- 
Chief of Her Majesty's Forces in India to be an extraordinary 
member of the said Council, and such extraordinary member 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 149 

of Council shall have rank and precedence at the Council Board 
next after the Governor-General. 

4. The present ordinary members of the Council of the 

Governor-General of India shall continue 
f to ^ e or ^' mar y members under and for the 

purposes of this Act ; and it shall be lawful 
for Her Majesty, on the passing of this Act, to appoint by 
warrant as aforesaid an ordinary member of Council, to com- 
plete the number of five hereby established ; and there shall be 
paid to such ordinary member, and to all other ordinary members 
who may be hereafter appointed, such amount of salary 
as may from time to time be fixed for members of the 
Council of the Governor-General by the Secretary of State 
in Council, with the concurrence of a majority of members 
of Council present at a meeting ; and all enactments of any 
Act of Parliament or law of India respecting the Council of 
the Governor-General of India and the members thereof shall 
be held to apply to the said Council as constituted by this Act, 
except so far as they are repealed by or are repugnant to any 
provisions of this Act. 

5. It shall be lawful for the Secretary of State in Council, 

with the concurrence of a majority of 
riJtaZT O a *ntments members present at a meeting, and for 
s f elt 1 ary r ofstate! lcU by Her Ma j est 7> b 7 warrant as aforesaid, 

respectively, to appoint any person pro- 
visionally to succeed to the office of ordinary member of the 
Council of the Governor-General, when the same shall become 
vacant by the death or resignation of the person holding the 
said office, or on his departure from India with intent to return 
to Europe, or on any event and contingency expressed in any 
such provisional appointment, and such appointment again to 
revoke ; but no person so appointed to succeed provisionally to 
such office shall be entitled to any authority, salary, or emolu- 
ment appertaining thereto until he shall be in the actual posses- 
sion of such office. 

6. Whenever the said Governor-General in Council shall 

declare that it is expedient that the said 

Provision on absence Governor-General should visit any part of 

olherTar^oMndla? 1 ' India unaccompanied by his Council, it 

shall be lawful for the said Governor- 
General in Council, previously to the departure of the said 
Governor-General, to nominate some member of the said Coun- 



ISO THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

cil to be President of the said Council, in whom, during the time 
of such visit, the powers of the said Governor-General in assem- 
blies of the said Council shall be reposed, except that of assent- 
ing to or witholding his assent from, or reserving for the signi- 
fication of Her Majesty's pleasure, any law or regulation, as 
hereinafter provided ; and it shall be lawful in every such case 
for the said Governor-General in Council by an order for that 
purpose to be made, to authorize the Governor-General alone 
to exercise all or any of the powers which might be exercised 
by the said Governor-General in Council in every case in which 
the said Governor-General may think it expedient to exercise 
the same, except the power of making laws or regulations. 

7. Whenever the Governor-General, or such President so 
nominated as aforesaid, shall be obliged 
provision on absence of to absent himself from any meeting of 
m e V enT* General from Council (other than meetings for the pur- 
pose of making laws and regulations, as 
hereinafter provided), owing to indisposition or any other cause 
whatsoever, and shall signify his intended absence to the Council, 
then and in every such case the senior member for the time 
being who shall be present at such meeting, shall preside 
thereat, in such manner, and with such full powers and author- 
ities during the time of such meeting, as such Governor-General 
or President would have had in case he had been present at 
such meeting : provided always, that no act of Council made at 
any such meeting shall be valid to any effect whatsoever unless 
the same shall be signed by such Governor-General or President 
repectively, if such Governor-General or President shall at the 
time be resident at the place at which such meeting shall be 
assembled, and shall not be prevented by such indisposition 
from signing the same : Provided always, that in case such 
Governor-General or President, not being so prevented as 
aforesaid, shall decline or refuse to sign such act of Council, he, 
and the several members of Council who shall have signed the 
same, shall mutually exchange with and communicate in 
writing to each other the grounds and reasons of their respective 
opinions, in like manner and subject to such regulations and 
ultimate responsibility as are by an Act of the thirty-third 
year of King George the Third, chapter fifty-two, sections 
forty-seven, forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty, fifty-one, provided and 
described in cases where such Governor-General shall, when 
present, dissent from any measure proposed or agitated in the 
Council. 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 151 

8. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General from time 

to time to make rules and orders for the 
Power of Governor- more convenient transaction of business 

General to make rules ii -j /~ M i j i 

for conduct of business. in the said Council ; and any order made 
or act done in accordance with such rules 

and orders (except as hereinafter provided respecting laws 
and regulations) shall be deemed to be the order or act of the 
Governor-General in Council. 

9. The said Council shall from time to time assemble at 

such .place or places as shall be appointed 
Power to council to by the Governor- General in Council within 

assemble at any place in ,, r T , . ^, 

India. the territories of India ; and as often as the 

said Council shall assemble within either of 
the Presidencies of Fort Saint George or Bombay, the Governor 
of such Presidency shall act as an extraordinary member of 
Council ; and as often as the said Council shall assemble within 
any other division, province, or territory having a Lieutenant- 
Governor, such Lieutenant-Governor shall act as an additional 
councillor at meetings of the Council, for the purpose of making 
laws and regulations only, in manner hereinafter provided. 

10. For the better exercise of the power of making laws 

and regulations vested in the Governor- 
to bVsumTonedloft^e General in Council, the Governor-General 
laws sha11 nominate, in addition to the ordinary 

and extraordinary members above men- 
tioned, and to such Lieutenant-Governor in the case aforesaid, 
such persons, not less than six nor more than twelve in number, 
as to him may seem expedient, to be members of Council for 
the purpose of making laws and regulations only, and such 
persons shall not be entitled to sit or vote at any meeting of 
Council, except at meetings held for such purpose : Provided 
that not less than one-half of the persons so nominated shall 
be non-official persons, that is, persons who, at the date of such 
nomination, shall not be in the civil or military service of the 
Crown in India, and that the seat in Council of any non-official 
member accepting office under the Crown in India shall be 
vacated on such acceptance. 

11. Every additional member of Council so nominated 

shall be summoned to all meetings held 
Additional members to for the purpose of making laws and regu- 
two i a tions, for the term of two years from the 
date of such nomination. 



152 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

12. It shall be lawful for any such additional member of 

Council to resign his office to the Governor- 
Resignation of addi- General and on acceptance of such resigna- 

tional members. . 

tion by the Governor-General such office 
shall become vacant. 

13. On the event of a vacancy occurring by the death* 

acceptance of office, or resignation, accept- 
Powers to mi up vac- ed in manner aforesaid, of any such addi- 
?i n onVi n m n e Tb b e e r r 3. 01 ad< tional member of Council, it shall be law- 
ful for the Governor-General to nominate 
any person as additional member of Council in his place, who 
shall exercise the same functions until the termination of the 
term for which the additional member so dying, accepting office, 
or resigning, was nominated ; Provided always, that it shall not 
be lawful for him by such nomination to diminish the propor- 
tion of non-official additional members hereinbefore directed 
to be nominated. 

14. No law or regulation made by the Governor-General 

in Council, in accordance with the provi- 
Law not invalid if sions of the Act shall be deemed invalid 

number of non-official < .1 , ,1 r 

members incomplete. by reason only that the proportion of non- 
official additional members hereby pro- 
vided was not complete at the date of its introduction to the 
Council or its enactment. 

15. In the absence of the Governor-General and of the 

President, nominated as aforesaid, the 
senior ordinary mem- senior ordinary member of the Council pre- 

sent shall preside at meetings of the Coun- 

cil for making laws and regulations ; and 
Quorom. the power of making laws and regulations 

vested in the Governor-General in Council 
shall be exercised only at meetings of the said Council at which 
such Governor-General or President, or some ordinary member 
of Council, and six or more members of said Council, ^including 
under the term 'members of the Council' such additional mem- 
bers as aforesaid), shall be present ; and in every case of differ- 
ence of opinion at meetings of the said Council for making laws 
and regulations, where there shall be an equality of voices, the 
Governor-General, or in his absence the President, and in the 
absence of the Governor-General and President such senior 
ordinary member of Council there presiding, shall have two votes 
or the casting vote. 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l, 153 

1 6. The Governor-General in Council shall, as soon as 

conveniently may be, appoint a place and 

ap?oTnt r "i r r ;t G mee e t?n ff fS time for the first meeting of the said Coun- 
uons ing laws and re * ula " cil of the Governor-General for making 

laws and regulations under this Act, and 

summon thereto as well the additional Councillors nominated 
by and under this Act as the other members of such Council ; 
and until such first meeting the powers now vested in the said 
Governor-General of India in Council of making laws and regula- 
tions shall and may be exercised in like manner and by the 
same members as before the passing of this Act. 

17. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General in Coun- 

cil from time to time to appoint all other 
.djr'. r ^mSSSS a "or times and P laces of meeting of the Council 
tfons?* Iaws and regu!a " for the purpose of making laws and regu- 
lations under the provisions of this Act, 

and to adjourn, or from time to time to authorize such President, 
or senior Ordinary member of Council in his absence, to 
adjourn any meeting for the purpose of making laws and regu- 
lations from time to time and from place to place. 

1 8. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General in Council 

to make rules for the conduct of business 
at meetings of the Council for the purpose 
^business at such meet- of ma king laws and regulations under the 
provisions of this Act, prior to the first of 
such meetings ; but such rules may be subsequently amended 
at meetings for the purpose of making laws or regulations, 
subject to the assent of the Governor-General ; and such rules 
shall prescribe the mode of promulgation and authentication of 
such laws and regulations : Provided always, that it shall be 
lawful for the Secretary of State in Council to disallow any 
such rule, and to render it of no effect. 

19. No business shall be transacted at any meeting for 

the purpose of making laws and regula- 
tions > except as last hereinbefore provided, 
other than the consideration and enact- 
ment of measures introduced into the Council for the purpose 
of such enactment ; and it shall not be lawful for any member 
or additional member to make or for the Council to entertain 
any motion, unless such motion be for leave to introduce some 
measure as aforesaid into Council or have reference to some 

20 



154 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

measure actually introduced thereinto : Provided always, that 
it shall not be lawful for any member or additional member to 
introduce, without the previous sanction of the Governor-Gene- 
ral, any measure affecting, 

(i) The Public Debt or public revenues of India, or by 
which any charge would be imposed on such revenues : 

(ii^ The religion or religious rights and usages of any class 
of Her Majesty's subjects in India : 

(iii) The discipline or maintenance of any part of Her 
Majesty's Military or Naval Forces : 

(iv) The relations of the Government with foreign princes 
or states. 

20. When any law or regulation has been made by the 
Council at a meeting for the purpose of 
Assent of Governor- making laws and regulations as aforesaid, 
?u^ml^gl sm&de at it shall be lawful for the Governor-General, 
whether he shall or shall not have been 
present in Council at the making thereof, to declare that he 
assents to the same or that he withholds his assent from the 
same, or that he reserves the same for the signification of the 
pleasure of Her Majesty thereon ; and no such law or regulation 
shall have validity until the Governor- General shall have 
declared his assent to the same, or until (in the case of law or 
regulation so reserved as aforesaid) Her Majesty shall have 
signified her assent to the same to the Governor-General, 
through the Secretary of State for India in Council, and such 
assent shall have been duly proclaimed by the said Governor- 
General. 

21. Whenever any such law or regulation has been 

assented to by the Governor-General, he 

Power of the Crown shall transmit to the Secretary of State for 

to disallow laws made at T ,. ,, r 

such meetings. India an authentic copy thereof; and it 

shall be lawful for Her Majesty to signify, 
through the Secretary of State for India in Council, her 
disallowance of such law ; and such disallowance shall make 
void and annul such law from or after the day on which the 
Governor-General shall make known, by proclamation or by 
signification to his Council, that he has received the notification 
of such disallowance by Her Majesty. 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 155 

22. The Governor-General in Council shall have power 

at meetings for the pnrpose of making 

Extent of the powers laws and regulations as aforesaid, and 

of the Governor-General , . . . . ' . 

in Council to make laws subject to the provisions herein contained, 
m e d e t r in!s! at to make laws and regulations for repealing, 

amending, or altering any laws or regula- 
tions whatever, now in force or hereafter to be in force in the 
Indian territories now under the dominion of Her Majesty, 
and to make laws and regulations for all persons, whether 
British or Native, foreigners or others, and for all courts of 
justice whatever, and for all places and things whatever within 
the said territories, and for all servants of the Government of 
India within the dominions of princes and states in alliance 
with Her Majesty ; and the laws and regulations so to be made 
by the Governor-General in Council shall control and supersede 
any laws and regulations in any wise repugnant thereto which 
shall have been made prior thereto by the Governors of the 
Presidencies of Fort St. George and Bombay respectively in 
Council, or the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor in Council of 
any presidency or other territory for which a Council may be 
appointed, with power to make laws and regulations, under and 
by virtue of this Act : Provided always, that the said 
Governor-General in Council shall not have the power of 
making any laws or regulations which shall repeal or in any 
way affect any of the provisions of this Act : 

Or any of the provisions of the Acts of the third and 
fourth years of King William the Fourth, chapter eighty-five, 
and of the sixteenth and seventeenth years of Her Majesty, 
chapter ninety-five, and of the seventeenth and eighteenth years 
of Her Majesty, chapter seventy-seven, which after the passing 
of this Act shall remain in force : 

Or any provisions of the Act of the twenty-first and 
twenty-second years of Her Majesty, chapter one hundred and 
six, entitled, "An Act for the Better Government of India" ; or 
of the Act of the twenty-second and-twenty-third years of Her 
Majesty, chapter forty-one, to amend the same : 

Or of any Act enabling the Secretary of State in Council 
to raise money in the United Kingdom for the Government of 
India : 

Or of the Acts for punishing mutiny and desertion in Her 
Majesty's Army or in Her Majesty's Indian Forces respectively, 
but subject to the provision contained in the Act of the third 



156 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

and fourth years of King William the Fourth, chapter eighty- 
five, section seventy-three, respecting the Indian Articles of 
War: 

Or any provisions of any Act passed in this present session 
of Parliament, or hereafter to be passed, in anywise affecting 
Her Majesty's Indian territories, or the inhabitants thereof : 

Or which may affect the authority of Parliament, or the 
constitution and rights of the East India Company, or any 
part of the unwritten laws or constitution of the United King- 
dom of Great Britain and Ireland, whereon may depend in 
any degree the allegiance of any person to the Crown of the 
United Kingdom, or the sovereignty or dominion of the Crown 
over any part of the said territories. 

23. Notwithstanding anything in this Act contained, it 

shall be lawful for the Governor-General, 
Qovernor-Qeneraimay in cases of emergency, to make and pro- 
make ordinances having mulgate, from time to time, ordinances for 

force of law in case of , , , 

urgent necessity. the peace and good government of the 

said territories or of any part thereof, 
subject however to the restrictions contained in the last pre- 
ceding section ; and every such ordinance shall have like 
force of law with a law or regulation made by the Governor- 
General in Council, as by this Act provided, for the space of 
not more than six months from its promulgation, unless the 
disallowance of such ordinance by Her Majesty shall be 
earlier signified to the Governor-General by the Secretary of 
State for India in Council, or unless such ordinance shall be 
controlled or superseded by some law or regulation made by 
the Governor-General in Council at a meeting for the purpose 
of making laws and regulations as by this Act provided. 

24. No law or regulation made by the Governor- 

General in Council (subject to the power 

No law, &c. invalid r j- 11 i_ ^i A i 

for affectfng prerogative of disallowance by the Crown, as herein- 
of Crown. before provided), shall be deemed invalid 

by reason only that it affects the prerogative of the Crown. 

25. "Whereas doubts have been entertained whether 

the Governor-General of India, or the 
non-regulation f provin- Governor-General of India in Council, 

had the power of making rules, laws, and 
regulations for the territories known from time to time as 
" Non-regulation Provinces," except at meetings for making 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

laws and regulations in conformity with the provisions of the 
said Acts of the third and fourth years of King William the 
Fourth, chapter eighty-five, and of the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth years of Her Majesty, chapter ninety-five, and whether 
the Governor, or Governor in Council, or Lieutenant Governor 
of any presidency or part of India had such power in respect 
of any such territories" : Be it enacted, that no rule, law, or 
regulation which prior to the passing of this Act shall have 
been made by the Governor-General or Governor-General in 
Council, or by any other of the authorities aforesaid, for and in 
respect of any such non-regulation province, shall be deemed 
invalid only by reason of the same not having been made in 
conformity with the provisions of the said Acts, or of any other 
Act of Parliament respecting the constitution and powers of the 
Council of India or of the Governor-General, or respecting 
the powers of such Governors, or Governors in Council, or 
Lieutenant-Governors as aforesaid. 

26. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General in Council, 

or Governor in Council of either of the 

ofabs r enc| io to S Membe?of Presidencies as the case may be, to grant 
Council - to an ordinary Member of Council leave 

of absence under medical certificate, for a period not exceeding 
six months ; and such member, during his absence shall retain 
his office, and shall, on his return and resumption of his 
duties, receive half his salary for the period of such absence ; but 
if his absence shall exceed six months, his office shall be vacated. 

27. If any vacancy shall happen in the office of an 

ordinary Member of the Council of the 

tempo^ry apJoinTmelltl Governor-General, or of the Council of 
& ^ove b r e no 8 r.Qen^ar C or e ^ ther of the Presidencies, when no person 
Governor of a Presi- provisionally appointed to succeed thereto 

shall be then present on the spot, then 
and on every such occasion, such vacancy shall be supplied 
by the appointment of the Governor-General in Council, or the 
Governor in Council as the case may be ; and until a successor 
shall arrive the person so nominated shall excute the office 
to which he shall have been appointed, and shall have all 
the powers thereof and shall have and be entitled to the salary 
and other emoluments and advantages appertaining to the 
said office during his continuance therein, every such tem- 
porary Member of Council foregoing all salaries and allow- 
ances by him held and enjoyed at the time of his being ap- 



158 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

pointed to such office ; and if any ordinary Member of the 
Council of the Governor-General, or of the Council of either of 
the Presidencies, shall, by any infirmity, or, otherwise, be ren- 
dered incapable of acting or of attending to act as such, or if 
any such member shall be absent on leave, and if any person 
shall have been provisionally appointed as aforesaid, then the 
place of such member absent or unable to attend, shall be 
supplied by such person ; and if no person provisionally ap- 
pointed to succeed to the office shall be then on the spot, the 
Governor-General in Council, or Governor in Council, as the 
case may be, shall appoint some person to be a temporary 
Member of Council ; and, until the return of the member so 
absent or unable to attend, the person so provisionally ap- 
pointed by the Secretary of State in Council, or so appointed 
by the Governor-General in Council, or Governor in Council, as 
the case may be, shall execute the office to which he shall have 
been appointed, and shall have all the powers thereof, and shall 
receive half the salary of the Member of Council whose place 
he supplies, and also half the salary of his office under the 
Government of India, or the Government of either of the 
Presidencies, as the case may be, if he hold any such office, the 
remaining half of such last-named salary being at the disposal 
of the Government of India, or other Government as aforesaid : 
Provided always, that no person shall be appointed a temporary 
Member of the said Council who might not have been appointed 
as hereinbefore provided to fill the vacancy supplied by such 
temporary appointment. 

28. It shall be lawful for the Governors of the Presidencies 

of Fort Saint George and Bombay, 

Governors of Fort respectively, from time to time to make 

m^mlke^uTe^fSr"?^ rules and orders for the conduct of business 

thei d r u counciis. usine8s *' in their Councils, and any order made or 

act done in accordance with such directions, 

(except as hereinafter provided respecting laws and regulations), 

shall be deemed to be the order or act of the Governor in Council. 

29. For the better exercise of the power of making laws 

and regulations hereinafter vested in the 



.SET Governors of the said Presidencies in 
councils of Port Saint Council respectively, each of the said 
?h e e r purpose IT making Governors shall, in addition to the members 
laws and regulations. whereof his Council now by law consists, 
or may consist, termed herein ordinary 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 159 

members, nominate to be additional members the Advocate- 
General of the Presidency, or officer acting in that capacity, and 
such other persons, not less than four nor more than eight in 
number, as to him may seem expedient, to be members of 
of Council, for the purpose of making laws and regulations 
only ; and such members shall not be entitled to sit or vote at 
any meeting of Council, except at meetings held for such 
purpose ; provided that no less than half of the persons so 
nominated shall be non-official persons, as hereinbefore des- 
cribed ; and that the seat in Council of any non-official member 
accepting office under the Crown in India shall be vacated on 
such acceptance. 

30. Every additional member of Council so nominated 

shall be summoned to all meetings held 
for the purpose of making laws and 
regulations for the term of two years from 
the date of such nomination. 

31. It shall be lawful for any such additional member of 

Council to resign his office to the Governor 
tionai members f addi " ^ t * ie Presidency ; and on acceptance of 

such resignation by the Governor of the 
Presidency, such office shall become vacant. 

32. On the event of a vacancy occurring by the death, 

acceptance of office, or resignation accepted 
Power to fni up in manner aforesaid, of any such additional 

vacancy in the number ., , c ^ -i -^ i 11 i i r \ r 

of additional members. Member of Council, it shall be lawful for 
the Governor of the Presidency to summon 
any person as additional Member of Council in his place, who 
shall exercise the same functions until the termination of the 
term for which the additional member so dying, accepting office, 
or resigning, was nominated : Provided always, that it shall not 
be lawful for him by such nomination to diminish the 
proportion of non-official members hereinbefore directed to be 
nominated. 

33. No law or regulation made by any such Governor in 

Council in accordance with the provisions 
iro^'numE? of'To" of this Act shall be deemed invalid by 
?nco c m a p l ieu? mber8 beins reason only that the proportion of non- 
official additional members hereby estab- 
lished was not complete at the date of its introduction to the 
Council or its enactment. 



160 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

34. At any meeting of the Council of either of the said 

Presidencies from which the Governor 
Member ^1 v co un d cn ar tX shall be absent, the senior civil ordinary 
Qov s e?noro n f presidency?* Member of Council present shall preside; 

and the power of making laws and regula- 
tions hereby vested in such Governor in Council shall be 
exercised only at meetings of such Council at which the 
Governor or some ordinary Member of Council, and four or 
more Members of Council (including under the term 'Members 
of Council' such additional members as aforesaid), shall be 
present and in any case of difference of opinion at meetings of 
any such Council for making laws and regulations, where there 
shall be an equality of voices, the Governor, or in his absence 
the senior member then presiding shall have two votes or the 
casting vote. 

35. The Governor-General in Council shall , as soon as 

conveniently may be, appoint the time 
Governor-General to for the first meeting of the Councils of Fort 

fix first meeting of Coun c> *. f* j -r> i ^- i 

ciis of Presidencies. Saint George and Bombay respectively, 

for the purpose of making laws and regula- 
tions under this Act ; and the Governors of the said Presiden- 
cies respectively shall summon to such meeting as well the 
additional Councillors appointed by and under this Act as the 
ordinary Members of the said Councils. 

36. It shall be lawful for every such Governor to appoint 

all subsequent times and places of meeting 

Governors of Presi- of his Council for the purpose of making 

sequent meetings" 1 \a\vs and regulations under the provisions 

of this Act, and to adjourn or from time to 
time to authorize such senior ordinary Member of Council in 
his absence to adjourn any meeting for making laws and 
regulations from time to time and from place to place, 

37. Previously to the first of such meetings of their 

Councils for the purpose of making laws 

ruieTnTVders ma fo? and regulations under the provisions of 
such U mletings. U8ine88 at this Act ' the Governors of the said Presi- 
dencies in Council respectively shall make 
rules for the conduct of business at such meetings, subject to 
the sanction of the Governor-General in Council ; but such 
rules may be subsequently amended at meetings for the purpose 
of making laws and regulations, subject to the assent of the 
Governor : Provided always, that it shall be lawful for the 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. l6l 

Governor-General in Council to disallow any such rule, and 
render the same of no effect. 

38. No business shall be transacted at any meeting of 

the Council of either of the said Presiden- 

acted U a^ n 8 Sch t mee e ti t ng 8 n . s " cies for the Purpose of making laws and 
regulations (except as last hereinbefore 
provided >, other than the consideration and enactment of 
measures introduced into such Council for the purpose of such 
enactment ; and it shall not be lawful for any member or 
additional member to make, or for the Council to entertain, 
any motion, unless such motion shall be for leave to introduce 
some measure as aforesaid into Council, or have reference to 
some measure actually introduced thereinto : Provided always 
that it shall not be lawful for any member or additional 
member to introduce, without the previous sanction of the 
Governor, any measure affecting the public revenues of the 
Presidency, or by which any charge shall be imposed on such 
revenues. 

39. When any law or regulation has been made by any 

such Council at a meeting for the purpose 

to lawsYtc^of Presfden- of making laws and regulations as afore- 
said, it shall be lawful for the Governor, 

whether he shall or shall not have been present in Council at 
such meeting, to declare that he assents to, or withholds his 
assent from, the same. 

40. The Governor shall transmit forthwith an authentic 

copy of every law or regulation to which 
a 8 se G n t ver t n o 0r "?aws ra and he shall have so declared his assent to the 
regulations of Presiden- Governor-General ; and no such law or 

regulation shall have validity until the 
Governor-General shall have assented thereto, and such assent 
shall have been signified by him to and published by the Gover- 
nor : Provided always, that in every case where the Governor- 
General shall withhold his assent from any such law or regula- 
tion, he shall signify to the Governor in writing his reason for 
so withholding his assent. 

41. Whenever any such law or regulation shall have been 

assented to by the Governor-General, he 
to %2iow 'hfws' 3 shall transmit to the Secretary of State 
regulations of Presiden- f or i n dj a an authentic copy thereof; and 

it shall be lawful for Her Majesty to signi- 
fy, through the Secretary of State for India in Council, her 

21 



162 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

disallowance of such law or regulation, and such disallowance 
shall make void and annul such law or regulation from or 
after the day on which such Governor shall make known by 
proclamation, or by signification to the Council, that he has 
received the notification of such disallowance by Her Majesty. 

42. The Governor of each of the said Presidencies in 

Council shall have power, at meetings for 

Governor* of p?Sid!sncy the purpose of making laws and regulations 
as aforesaid and > subject to the provisions 
herein contained, to make laws and regula- 
tions for the peace and good government of such Presidency, 
and for that purpose to repeal and amend any laws and regula- 
tions made prior to the coming into operation of this Act by 
any authority in India, so far as they affect such Presidency : 
Provided always, that such Governor in Council shall not have 
the power of making any laws or regulations which shall in 
any way affect any of the provisions of this Act, or of any 
other Act of Parliament in force, or hereafter to be in force, in 
such Presidency. 

43. It shall not be lawful for the Governor in Council of 

either of the aforesaid Presidencies, except 
den?y , V ex?eptwith P 8 r an 8 c= with the sanction of the Governor-General, 
tionof Qovernor-Qener- previously communicated to him, to make 

al, not to make or take . . J . . . , 

into consideration cer regulations or take into consideration any 

ons. laws and regula " law or regulation for any of the purposes 

next hereinafter mentioned ; that is to say, 

1. Affecting the Public Debt of India, or the customs 
duties, or any other tax or duty now in force and imposed by 
the authority of the Government of India for the general pur- 
poses of such Government : 

2. Regulating any of the current coin, or the issue of any 
bills, notes, or other paper currency : 

3. Regulating the conveyance of letters by the post 
office or messages by the electric telegraph within the Presi- 
dency : 

4. Altering in any way the Penal Code of India, as 
established by Act of the Governor-General in Council, No. 42 
of i860 : 

5. Affecting the religion or religious rites and usages of 
any class of Her Majesty's subjects in India : 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, lS6l, 163 

6. Affecting the discipline or maintenance of any part 
of Her Majesty's Military or Naval Forces ; 

7. Regulating patents or copyright : 

8. Affecting the relations of the Government with foreign 
princes or states : 

Provided always, that no law, or provision of any law or 
regulation which shall have been made by any such Governor 
in Council, and assented to by the Governor-General as afore- 
said shall be deemed invalid only by reason of its relating to 
any of the purposes comprised in the above list. 

44. The Governor-General in Council, so soon as it shall 

appear to him expedient, shall, by pro- 

Governor-Generai clamation, extend the provisions of this 

may establish Councils Act touching the making of laws and 

for making laws and . .. r ., , 

regulations in the Presi- regulations for the peace and good goevern- 
Beng^&c . 1 "^ 11 " 8111111 ment of the Presidencies of Fort St. 
George and Bombay to the Bengal Division 
of the Presidency of Fort William, and shall specify in such 
proclamation the period at which such provisions shall take 
effect, and the number of councillors whom the Lieutenant- 
Governor of the said division may nominate for his assistance 
in making laws and regulations ; and it shall be further 
lawful for the Governor-General in Council, from time to time 
and in his discretion, by similar proclamation, to extend the 
same provisions to the territories known as the North- Western 
Provinces and the Punjab respectively. 

45. Whenever such proclamation as aforesaid shall have 

been issued regarding the said division or 
such territories respectively, the Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor thereof shall nominate, for his assis- 
tance in making laws and regulations, such number of council- 
lors as shall be in such proclamation specified ; provided, that 
not less than one-third of such councillors shall in every case 
be non-official persons, as hereinbefore described, and that the 
nomination of such councillors shall be -subject to the sanction 
of the Governor-General ; and provided further, that at any 
meeting of any such Council from which the Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor shall be absent, the member highest in official rank among 
those who may hold office under the Crown shall preside ; and 
the power of making laws and regulations shall be exercised 
only at meetings at which the Lieutenant-Governor, or some 



164 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 



member holding office as aforesaid, and not less than one-half 
of the members of Council so summoned as aforesaid, shall be 
present ; and in any case of difference of opinion at any meet- 
ings of such Council for making laws and regulations where there 
shall be an equality of voices the Lieutenant-Governor, or such 
member highest in official rank as aforesaid then presiding, 
shall have two votes or the casting vote. 

46. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General, by procla- 

mation as aforesaid, to constitute from time 
to time n provinces for the purposes of 
point Lieutenant- this Act, to which the like provisions shall 

Governors. 1-11 t r ,1 ^ r 

be applicable ; and further to appoint from 

time to time a Lieutenant-Governor to any province so constitut- 
ed as aforesaid, and from time to time to declare and limit the 
extent of the authority of such Lieutenant-Governor, in like 
manner as is provided by the Act of the seventeeth and eight- 
eenth years of Her Majesty, chapter seventy-seven, respecting 
the Lieutenant -Governors of Bengal and the North- YVestern 
Provinces. 

47. It shall be lawful for the Governor-General in Council, 

by such proclamation as aforesaid, to fix the 
limits of any presidency, division, province, 
or territory in India for the purpose of this 
Act, and further by proclamation to divide or alter from time to 
time the limits of any such presidency, division, province, or 
territory for the said purposes : Provided always, that any law or 
regulation made by the Governor or Lieutenat-Governor in 
Council of any presidency, division, province, or territory shall 
continue in force in any part thereof which may be severed 
therefrom by any such proclamation, until superseded by law or 
regulation of the Governor-General in Council, or of the 
Governor or Lieutenaut-Governor in Council of the presidency, 
division, province, or territory to which such parts may become 
annexed. 

48. It shall be lawful for every such Lieutenant-Governor 

in Council thus constituted to make laws 
this Act er extended 18 to for the peace and good government of his 
future councils. respective division, province, or territory ; 

and except as otherwise hereinbefore specially provided, all the 
provisions in this Act contained respecting the nomination of 
additional members for the purpose of making laws and regula- 
tions for the Presidencies of Fort Saint George and Bombay, 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 165 

and limiting the power of the Governors in Council of Fort 
Saint George and Bombay for the purpose of making laws and 
regulations, and respecting the conduct of business in the meet- 
ings of such Councils for that purpose, and respecting the power 
of the Governor- General to declare or withhold his assent to laws 
or regulations made by the Governor in Council of Fort Saint 
George and Bombay, and respecting the power of Her Majesty 
to disallow the same, shall apply to laws or regulations to be so 
made by any such Lieutenant-Governor in Council. 

49. Provided always, that no proclamation to be made by 

the Governor-General in Council under the 

the^o^nec^rry to provisions of this Act for the purpose of 
:ive validity to any such constituting any Council for the presidency, 

division, provinces, or territories herein- 
before named, or any other provinces, or for altering the boun- 
daries of any presidency, division, province, or territory, or 
constituting any new province for the purpose of this Act, 
shall have any force or validity until the sanction of Her 
Majesty to the same shall have been previosly signified by the 
Secretary of State in Council to the Governor-General. 

50. If any vacancy shall happen in the office of Gover- 

nor-General of India when no provisional 
suppi r y 0v o ! f si ?he omce th o e f successor shall be in India to supply such 
Governor-General in vacancy, then and in every such case the 

certain circumstances. ^ J c ,\ ^ t r T- L r> A. 

Governor of the Presidency of Fort Saint 
George or the Governor of the Presidency of Bombay who shall 
have been first appointed to the office of Governor by Her Ma- 
jesty, shall hold and execute the said office of Governor-Ge- 
neral of India and Governor of the Presidency of Fort William 
in Bengal until a successor shall arrive, or until some person 
in India shall be duly appointed thereto ; and every such acting 
Governor-General shall, during the time of his continuing to 
act as such, have and exercise all the rights and powers of 
Governor-General of India, and shall be entitled to receive 
the emoluments and advantages appertaining to the office by 
him supplied, such acting Governor-General foregoing the 
salary and allowances appertaining to the office of Governor 
to which he stands appointed ; and such office of Governor shall 
be supplied for the time during which such Governor shall 
act as Governor-General, in the manner directed in section 
sixty-three of the Act of the third and fourth years of King 
William the Fourth, chapter eighty-five. 



166 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

51. If, on such vacancy occurring, it shall appear to the 
Governor, who by virtue of this Act shall 
" "ceSa^t^SI hold and execute the said office of Gov- 
powers before ernor-General, necessary to exercise the 

taking his seat in Coun= . , rir 11111 i 

cii, he may make his powers thereof before he shall have taken 



em 



his seat in Council, it shall be lawful for 
him to make known by proclamation his 
appointment, and his intention to assume the said office of 
Governor-General ; and after such proclamation, and thence- 
forth until he shall repair to the place where the Council may 
assemble, it shall be lawful for him to exercise alone all or any 
of the powers which might be exercised by the Governor- 
General in Council, except the power of making laws and 
regulations ; and all acts done in the exercise of the said 
powers, except as aforesaid, shall be of the same force and 
effect as if they had been done by the Governor-General in 
Council ; provided that all acts done in the said Council after 
the date of such proclamation, but before the communication 
thereof to such Council, shall be valid, subject nevertheless to 
revocation or alteration by such Governor who shall have so 
assumed the said office of Governor-General ; and from the date 
of the vacancy occurring until such Governor shall have assumed 
the said office of Governor-General, the provisions of section 
sixty-two of the Act of the third and fourth years of King 
William the Fourth, chapter eighty-five, shall be, and the same 
are declared to be, applicable to the case. 

52. Nothing in this Act contained shall be held to 

derogate from or interfere with (except 
Nothing in this Act as hereinbefore expressly provided) the 

shall derogate from the i , ^ j TT i\/r 

powers of the Crown or rights vested in Her Majesty, or the 
?ndTa1n r L unci S L ate powers of the Secretary of State for India 

in Council, in relation to the Government 
of Her Majesty's dominions in India, under any law in force 
at the date of the passing of this Act ; and all things which 
shall be done by Her Majesty, or by the Secretary of State as 
aforesaid, in relation to such Government, shall have the same 
force and validity as if this Act had not been passed. 

53. Wherever any act or thing is by this Act required 

or authorized to the done by the Governor- 
! term in General or by the Governors of the Pre- 
sidencies of Fort Saint George and Bombay 
in Council, it is not required that such act or thing should be 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, l86l. 167 

done at a meeting for making laws and regulations, unless 
where expressly provided. 

54. Except as hereinbefore specially provided, this Act 
shall commence and come into operation 

Time when Act shall as S oon as the same shall have been pub- 
come into operation. 1-111 - i /~> r* i . 

lished by the said Governor General in 
Council by proclamation. 

B. 

EXTRACTS FROM SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH IN THE 
HOUSE OF COMMONS ON JUNE 6, 1861, 

In moving (June 6, 1 86 1) for leave to bring in the East 
India Council Bill, SIR CHARLES WOOD said 

" I rise to move for leave to bring in a Bill of the greatest 
possible importance to our Indian Empire. It modifies to a 
great extent the Executive Government, and what is of still 
greater importance it alters the means and manner of legis- 
lation. I can assure the House that I never felt more respon- 
sibility than in venturing to submit to it a proposal of so im- 
portant and grave a character. It is hardly necessary for me 
to mention that the power of legislating for 150,000,000 of 
people, and nearly 50,000,000 whose welfare it indirectly 
affects, is a matter of the gravest importance, and I am quite 
sure that to those who have ever studied India the inherent 
difficulties of the question will be no less apparent. We have 
to legislate for different races, with different languages, reli- 
gions, manners, and customs, ranging from the bigoted Maho- 
medan, who considers that we have usurped his legitimate 
position as the ruler of India, to the timid Hindoo, who, 
though bowing to every conqueror, is bigotedly attached to 
his caste, his religion, his laws, and his customs, which have 
descended to him uninterruptedly for countless generations. 
But, added to that, we have English settlers in India differing 
in almost every respect from the Native population - active, 
energetic, enterprising, with all the pride of race and conquest, 
presuming on their superior powers, and looking down in many 
respects and I am afraid violating in others, the feelings and 
prejudices of the Native population with whom, nevertheless, 
they must be subject to laws passed by the Legislative body 
in India. 



168 SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, l86l, 

I have always thought that the gravest question in 
modern times is the relation between civilized and less civi- 
lized nations, or between civilized portions and less civilized 
portions of nations, when they came in contact. The difficulty 
is seen in America, in Africa, in New Zealand, but nowhere in 
the widely extended dominions of Her Majesty has it reached 
such a magnitude as in India, And in this particular case the 
difficulty is aggravated by the circumstance that the English, 
who form a portion of those who are to be subjected to this 
legislation, are not a permanent body. They go there 
for a time. Officials, when their term of service has expired, 
and persons engaged in commercial or agricultural pursuits, 
when they have made a fortune, return to this country, and 
though the English element in India is permanent as belonging 
to a nation, it is most transitory when we come to consider 
the individuals who compose it. Such are the circumstances 
under which we are to legislate, and I regret to say that the 
recent mutiny has aggravated these difficulties. The unlimited 
confidence which a few years ago was felt by the European 
population in the Natives of India has given way to feelings 
of distrust. Formerly there was, at all events, no feeling of 
antagonism between the higher portion of official persons and 
the great mass of the population. The latter looked up to the 
Government as to a protector, and if any feeling of antagonism 
or jealousy existed it existed only between them and those 
members of the service or the English settlers who were brought 
into antagonistic contact with them. When I heard some time 
ago that the feeling of antagonism was extending itself lower 
among the Natives and higher among the officers I deeply 
regretted it, as the most alarming symptom of altered circums- 
tances, which must obviously tend to increase the dangers of 
our position. I do not wish to dwell on this matter, but it 
would be folly to shut our eyes to the increasing difficulties 
of our position in India, and it is an additional reason why we 
should make the earliest endeavour to put all our institutions 
on the soundest possible foundations. 

It is notoriously difficult for any European to make 
himself intimately acquainted with either the feelings or 
opinions of the Native population, and I was struck the 
other day by a passage in a letter from one of the oldest 
Indian servants, SIR MARK CUBBON, whose death we have 
had recently to regret. He had been in the service for 
sixty years ; he had adminstered the affairs of Mysore for 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1 86 1. 169 

nearly thirty years ; he had been living in the most intimate 
intercourse with the Natives, possessing their love and con- 
fidence to an extent seldom obtained by an English officer, 
and yet he said "that he was astonished that he had never 
been able to acquire a sufficient acquaintance with the opinions 
and feelings of the Natives with whom he was in daily communi- 
cation." 

Many of the greatest mistakes into which we have 
been led have arisen from the circumstance that we have been, 
not unnaturally, perhaps, for arranging everything according 
to English ideas. In Bengal we converted the collectors of 
taxes into the permanent landowners of the country, and left 
the ryots to their mercy. In Madras, SIR THOMAS MUNRO, 
from the most benevolent motives, and to avoid the evils of 
the Bengal settlement, introduced the ryotwary system. It 
is now asserted that a more impoverished population than that 
of Madras does not exist. When I was at the Board of Control 
it was said that the system of the North- Western provinces 
was perfect. In consequence of that opinion it was introduced 
into the newly-acquired province of Oudh. We fancied that 
we were benefiting the population, and relieving them from 
the oppression of their chiefs, but in the rebellion the ryots of 
Oudh took part against us aud joined their chiefs in the 
rebellion. Subsequent to the rebellion the Indian Govern- 
ment, profiting by the circumstance, reverted to the old system 
in Oudh, and happily with the greatest success ; and recently 
at an interview between LORD CANNING and the talookdars 
they expressed their gratification at the restoration of 
the former system, and the Governor-General justly con- 
gratulated them on the fact that tranquillity prevailed in 
a district which had been so frequently the scene of violence 
and outrage, and that in the most newly acquired of 
Her Majesty's Indian dominions confidence existed which 
was not surpassed in the oldest settlements. 

The House can hardly be aware of the extraordinary and 
inherent difficulties in devising a system applicable to the whole 
of India. It behoves us to be most careful, as a rash step may 
lead to most dangerous consequences. It is easy to go forward. 
It is difficult to go back, and I confess I am disposed to err on 
the side of caution and to profit by the warning of one of the 
ablest Indian officers, MOUNTSTUART ELPHINSTONE, who said, 
"Legislation for India should be well considered, gradual, and 

22 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1 86 1. 

slow." The measure which I propose to introduce will effect 
some changes in the executive Government of India. About two 
years ago the Government thought it right to send to India a 
distinguished Member of this House, MR. WILSON, in order to 
aid in putting the finances of that country in a more satisfactory 
condition. As far as I can learn, the changes which MR. WILSON 
had the opportunity of inaugurating, and which have to a con- 
siderable extent been carried out, have gone a great way to 
convince the authorities of India of the mistaken way in which 
they were proceeding, and to lay the foundation of a sounder 
system of finance. Judging from the accounts which we have 
received by the last mail, I believe that a change has come over 
the financial affairs of India, and that we may look forward to a 
more satisfactory state of things than has prevailed for many 
years. 

There can be no doubt that the Council of the Governor- 
General has suffered serious inconvenience from the absence 
of any Member thoroughly acquainted with the laws and 
principles of jurisprudence ; and LORD CANNING, in one of his 
despatches, points out how desirable it is that a gentleman 
of the legal profession, a jurist rather than a technical lawyer, 
should be added to the Council. I propose, therefore, to take 
powers to send out an additional member of Council. Although 
it is not so specified, it is intended that he should be a lawyer, 
and I must endeavour to find a man of high character and 
attainments, competent to assist the Governor-General and 
his Council in framing laws. 

The main change proposed is, however, in the mode in 
which laws and regulations are enacted. The history of 
legislative power in India is very short. In 1773 the Governor- 
General in Council was empowered to make regulations 
for the Government of India, and in 1793 those regulations 
were collected into a code by LORD CORNWALLIS. Similar 
regulations were applied in 1799 and 1801 to Madras and 
Bombay, and in 1803 they were extended to the North- 
West Provinces. The territory of Delhi, however, which was 
nominally under the sovereignty of the Great Mogul, was 
administered by officers of the Government of India, and with 
such good effect that in 1815, when LORD HASTINGS acquired 
certain provinces, he determined that they should be adminis- 
tered in the same way by Commissioners appointed by the 
Goverment. The same system has been applied to the Punjab, 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, l86l. 171 

Sind, Pegu, and the various acquisitions made in India since 
that date. The laws and regulations under which they are 
administered are framed either by the Governor-General in 
Council or by the Lieutenant-Governors or Commissioners, 
as the case may be, and approved by the Governor-General. 
This difficult mode of passing ordinances for the two classes 
of provinces, constitutes the distinction between the regulation 
and the non-regulation provinces, the former being those subject 
to the old regulations, and the latter those which are adminis- 
tered in the somewhat irregular manner which, as I have stated, 
commenced in 1815. There is much difference of opinion as to 
the legality of the regulations adopted under the latter system, 
and Sir BARNES PEACOCK has declared that they are illegal 
unless passed by the Legislative Council. The Act of 1833 
added to the Council of the Governor-General a member whose 
presence was necessary for the passing of all legislative mea- 
sures, and put the whole of the then territory of India under that 
body, at the same time withdrawing from Madras and Bombay 
the power of making regulations. In that way the whole legis- 
lative power and authority of India were centralized in the 
Governor- General and Council, with this additional member. 
So matters stood in 1853, but great complaints had emanated 
from other parts of India of the centralization of power at 
Calcutta. The practice was then introduced of placing in the 
Governor-General's Council members from different parts of 
India. The tenour of the evidence given before the Committee 
of 1852-53 was to point out that the Executive Council alone, 
even with the assistance of the legislative member, was incom- 
petent to perform the increased duties which were created by the 
extension of territory. MR. M'LEOd, a distinguished member 
of the Civil Service of India, and who had acted at Calcutta as 
one of the Law Commissioners, gave the following evidence 
before the Committee : 

"The Governor-General with four Members of Council, however highly 
qualified those individuals may be, is not altogether a competent Legislature 
for the great empire which we have in India. It seems to me very desirable 
that, in the Legislative Government of India, there should be one or more 
persons having local knowledge and experience of the minor presidencies ; 
that is entirely wanting in the Legislative Goverment as at present consti- 
tuted. It appears to me that this is one considerable and manifest defect. 
The Governor-General and Council have not sufficient leisure and previous 
knowledge to conduct, in addition to their executive and administrative 
functions, the whole duties of legislation for the Indian empire. It seems 
to me that it would be advisable to enlarge the Legislative Council and 



I?2 SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, l86l. 

have representatives of the minor presidencies in it, without enlarging the 
Executive Council, or in any way altering its present constitution." 

MR. HILL, another eminent Civil Servant, said 

"The mode of carrying out improvements must be by strengthening 
the hands of the Legislature * * * * It would be a great improve- 
ment if, after the preparation of Laws by the Executive Government and 
its officers, when the Legislature met, they had the addition to their number 
of the Chief Justice and perhaps another Judge of the Supreme Court, one 
or two Judges of the Sudder Court, and the Advocate-General, or some 
other competent persons so that there should be a more numerous 
deliberative body." 

I quote these two opinions only, because they are so clearly 
and concisely expressed. In consequence of the general evidence 
to that effect, I proposed, in 1853, a measure adding to the 
Council cf the Governor-General, when sitting to make laws 
and regulations, members from the different provinces of India, 
together with the Chief Justice and another Judge of the Supreme 
Court of Bengal. My intention was, in accordance with the 
opinions I have cited, to give to the Council the assistance of 
local knowledge and legal experience in framing laws. The 
Council, however, quite contrary to my intention, has become a 
sort of debating society, or pretty parliament. My own view of 
its duties is expressed in a letter I wrote to LORD DALHOUSIE 
in 1853, in which I said 

"I expect the non-official members of your enlarged Legislative 
Council to be constantly employed as a Committee of Council in working 
at Calcutta, on the revision of your laws and regulations." 

It was certainly a great mistake that a body of twelve 
members should have been established with all the forms and 
functions of a parliament. They have standing orders nearly 
as numerous as we have ; and their effect has been, as LORD 
CANNING stated in one of his despatches, to impede business, 
cause delay, and to induce a Council, which ought to be regard- 
ed as a body for doing practical work, to assume the debating 
functions of a parliament. In a letter which is among the 
papers upon the Table of the House, MR. GRANT bears testi- 
mony to the success which has attended their labours in framing 
laws ; and I will quote the words of another able Indian Civil 
Servant to the same effect. He says' 

"If it be assumed that the enlargement of the Council by the addition 
of two Judges of the Supreme Court and four councillors of the different 
Presidencies of India was designed only as a means of improving the 
legislation of the country, the measure must be regarded as a complete 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1 86 1, 1/3 

success. The Council has effected all that could be expected, and may 
with just pride point to the statutes of the last seven years as a triumphant 
proof that the intention of Parliament has been fulfilled." 

I think that is a very satisfactory proof that as far as my 
intentions and what I believe were the intentions of the Legis- 
lature of this country are concerned, the objects of the change 
in the position of the Governor-General's Council, when sitting 
for legislative purposes, have been most completely fulfilled. I 
do not wish to say anything against a body the constitution of 
which I am about to alter, but 1 think that the general opinion, 
both in India and England, condemned the action of the Council 
when it attempted to discharge functions other than those which 
I have mentioned when it constituted itself a body for the 
redress of grievances, and engaged in discussions which led to no 
practical result. So much has this struck those most competent 
to form an opinion, that I find that the first Vice-President, 
SIR LAURENCE PEEL, expresses a very decided opinion 
against it, and says of the Council, in a short memorandum 

"It has no jurisdiction in the nature of that of a grand inquest of the 
nation. Its functions are purely legislative, and are limited even in that 
respect. It is not an Anglo-Indian House of Commons for the redress of 
grievances, to refuse supplies, and so forth." 

These obvious objections were pointed out to me by the 
Government of India last year, and it was my intention to have 
introduced a measure upon the subject in the course of that 
Session. I felt, however, so much difficulty in deciding in what 
shape the measure should be framed, that I deferred its proposal 
until the present year ; and LORD CANNING, who was very 
anxious that such a measure should be passed, consented to defer 
his departure from India in order that he, with his great experi- 
ence of that country, might introduce the change. The present 
constitution of the Council for legislative purposes having failed, 
we have naturally to consider what should be substituted, and 
in doing so we must advert to the two extreme notions with 
regard to legislation which prevail in India. The notion of 
legislation which is entertained by a Native is that of a chief or 
sovereign, who makes what laws he pleases. He has little or no 
idea of any distinction between the executive and legislative 
functions of Government. A Native chief will assemble his 
nobles around him in the Durbar, where they freely and frankly 
express their opinions ; but having informed himself by their 
comunications, he determines by his own will what shall be 
done. Among the various proposals which have been made for 



174 SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, l86l. 

the Government of India is one that the power of legislation 
should rest entirely on the Executive, but that there should be 
a consultative body ; that is, that the Governor-General assem- 
ble, from time to time, a considerable number of persons, whose 
opinions he should hear, but by whose opinions he should not 
be bound ; and that he should himself consider and decide what 
measures should be adopted. In the last Session of Parliament 
LORD ELLENBOROUGH developed a scheme approaching this in 
character in the House of Lords ; but Hon. Gentlemen will 
see, in the despatches which have been laid upon the Table, 
that both LORD CANNING considers this impossible, and all the 
Members of his Government, as well as the Members of the 
Indian Council, concur in the opinion that, in the present state 
of feeling in India, it is quite impossible to revert to a state of 
things in which the Executive Government alone legislated for 
the country. The opposite extreme is the desire which is nat- 
ural to Englishmen wherever they be that they should have 
a representative body to make the laws by which they are to be 
governed. I am sure, however, that everyone who considers the 
condition of India will see that it is utterly impossible to consti- 
tute such a body in that country. You cannot possibly assem- 
ble at any one place in India persons who shall be the real re- 
presentatives of the various classes of the Native population of 
that empire. It is quite true that when you diminish the area 
over which legislation is to extend you diminish the difficulty 
of such a plan. In Ceylon, which is not more extensive than 
a large collectorate in India, you have a legislative body 
consisting partly of Englishmen and partly of Natives, and I 
do not know that that Government has worked unsuccessfully ; 
but with the extended area with which we have to deal in 
India, it would be physically impossible to constitute such a 
body. The Natives who are resident in the towns no more 
represent the resident Native population than a highly educated 
native of London, at the present day, represents a highland 
chieftain or a feudal baron of half a dozen centuries ago. To 
talk of a Native representation is, therefore, to talk of that 
which is simply and utterly impossible. Then comes the 
question to what extent we can have a representation of the 
English settlers in India. No doubt, it would not be difficult 
to obtain a representation of their interests, but I must say that 
of all governing or legislative bodies, none is so dangerous or 
so mischievous as one which represents a dominant race ruling 
over an extended Native population. All experience teaches 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1 86 1, 175 

us that where a dominant race rules another, the mildest form 
of government is a despotism. It was so in the case of the 
democratic republics of Greece, and the more aristocratic or 
autocratic sway of Rome ; and it has been so, I believe, at 
all times and among all nations in every part of the world. 
The other day 1 found in MR. MILL'S book upon Representative 
Government, a passage which I will read not because I go its 
entire length, but because it expresses in strong terms what I 
believe is in the main correct. MR. MILL says 

"Now, if there be a fact to which all experience testifies, it is that when 
a country holds another in subjection, the individuals of the ruling people 
who resort to the foreign country to make their fortunes are, of all others, 
those who most need to be held under powerful restraint. They are always 
one of the chief difficulties of the Government. Armed with the prestige 
and filled with the scornful overbearingness of the conquering nation, they 
have the feelings inspired by absolute power without its sense of responsibi- 
lity." 

I cannot, therefore, consent to create a powerful body of 
such a character. It must be remembered, also, that the 
Natives do not distinguish very clearly between the acts of the 
Government itself and the acts of those who apparently 
constitute it, namely, the members of the Legislative Council ; 
and in one of LORD CANNING'S despatches he points out the 
mischiefs which have on that account arisen from publicity. 
He says that, so far as the English settlers are concerned, 
publicity is advantageous ; but that if publicity is to continue, 
care must be taken to prevent the Natives confounding the 
measures which are adopted with injudicious speeches which 
may be made in the Legislative Council. I feel it, therefore, 
necessary to strengthen the hands of the Government, so as to 
enable them not only by veto to prevent the passing of 
a law, but to prevent the introduction of any Bill which they 
think calculated to excite the minds of the Native population, 
repeating the caution which I have before given, I say it 
behoves us to be cautions and careful in our legislation. I have 
seen a measure which I myself introduced in 1853, with one 
view, changed by the mode in which it was carried into execu- 
tion so as to give it an operation totally different from that 
which I intended. The mischiefs resulting from that change 
have been great ; and I am, therefore, anxious that in any 
measure which I may propose, and which the House, I hope, 
will adopt, we should take care, as far as possible, to avoid the 
likelihood of misconstruction or misapplication by the Govern- 



i;6 SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1 86 1. 

ment of India. It is easy at any future time to go further, but 
it is difficult to draw back from what we have once agreed to. 

The despatches of LORD CANNING contain pretty full details 
of the scheme which he would recommend. Those despatches 
have been long under the consideration of the Council of India, 
and with their concurrence I have framed a measure which 
embodies the leading suggestions of LORD CANNING. I propose 
that when the Governor-General's Council meets for the purpose 
of making laws and regulations, the Governor-General should 
summon, in addition to the ordinary members or the Council, 
not less that six nor more than twelve additional members, of 
whom one-half at least shall not hold office under Government. 
These additional members may be either Europeans, persons 
of European extraction, or Natives. LORD CANNING strongly 
recommends that the Council should hold its meetings in 
different parts of India, for the purpose of obtaining at times 
the assistance of those Native chiefs ana noblemen whose 
attendance at Calcutta would be impossible, or irksome to 
themselves. I do not propose that the judges ex-officio shall 
have seats in the Legislature ; but I do not preclude the 
Governor-General from summoning one of their number if he 
chooses. They were useful members of a body meeting as a 
committee for the purpose of discussing and framing laws, but 
I think it is inexpedient and incompatible with their functions 
that they should belong to a body partaking in any degree of 
a popular character. I propose that the peisons nominated 
should attend all meetings held within a year. If you compel 
their attendance for a longer period you render it very unlikely 
that any Natives except those resident upon the spot will 
attend the meetings of the Council. This also is recommended 
by LORD CANNING. Hon. Gentlemen will have noticed the 
great success which has attended the association with us of 
the Talookdars of Oudh and of the Sirdars in the Punjab in the 
duties of administering the revenue, and LORD CANNING has 
borne testimony to the admirable manner in which they have 
performed their duties. I believe greater advantages will result 
from admitting the Native chiefs to co-operate with us for 
legislative purposes ; they will no longer feel, as they have 
hitherto done, that they are excluded from the management 
of affairs in their own country, and nothing, I am persuaded, 
will tend more to conciliate to our rule the minds of Natives 
of high rank. I have no intention of doing anything to make 
this Council a debating society. I wish, to quote an expression of 



SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, l86l, 

SIR LAURENCE PEEL, to render them a body for making laws. 
The Council of the Governor-General, with these additional 
members, will have power to pass laws and regulations affect- 
ing the whole of India and will have a supreme and concurrent 
power with the minor legislative bodies which I propose to 
establish in the Presidencies and in other parts of India. I 
come now to the power of making laws which I propose to 
give the Governors and Councils of the other Presidencies. 
LORD CANNING strongly feels that, although great benefits have 
resulted from the introduction of members into his Council 
who possess a knowledge of localities the interests of which 
differ widely in different parts of the country the change has 
not been sufficient, in the first place, to overcome the feeling 
which the other Presidencies entertain against being overridden, 
as they call it, by the Bengal Council, or, on the other hand, 
to overcome the disadvantages of having a body legislating for 
these Presidencies without acquaintance with local wants and 
necessities. This must obviously be possessed to a much greater 
extent by those residing on and nearer the spot. And, there- 
fore, I propose to restore, I may say, to the Presidencies of 
Madras and Bombay the power of passing laws and enactments 
on local subjects within their own territories, and that the 
Governor of the Presidency, in the same manner as a 
Governor-General, when his Council meets to make laws, 
shall summon a certain number of additional members, to be, 
as before, either European or Native, and one-half of whom 
at least shall not be office-holders. It is obviously necessary 
that these bodies should not be empowered to legislate on 
subjects which I may call of Indian rather than of local 
importance. The Indian debt, the Customs of the country, 
the Army of India, and other matters, into the details of which 
it is not necessary that I should enter, belong to a class of sub- 
jects which the local Legislatures will be prohibited from entering 
upon without the sanction of the Governor-General. I propose 
that Councils rather differently constituted should be established 
at Bengal, and, if the the Governor-General thinks right, as he 
obviously does from his despatches, that he shall be empowered 
hereafter but not without the sanction of the Secretary of State 
to create a Council for the North West provinces, or the Punjab, 
or any other part of India which he may think desirable. 
It has been represented that the province of Pegu might per- 
haps, be constituted into a separate Government with a Council. 
I somewhat doubt whether it is at present ripe for such a 

23 



1 78 SIR CHARLES WOOD'S SPEECH, 1 86 1. 

change ; but when it has acquired sufficient importance, no 
doubt the district will be better administered in that way than 
it is at present. By this means, while we shall attain a general 
uniformity of legislation, with a sufficient diversity for the 
differences of each part of India, we shall, I hope, adapt the 
system to the wants of particular localities. It is quite clear 
that the public works may be better dealt with by local bodies 
than by a central authority ; but as each district might be 
disposed to repudiate liability to maintain its share of the 
army, on the ground that it would not be first exposed to 
danger, and as it is highly desirable that the distribution of 
troops should be in the hands of the central authority, I think 
that the army, among others, is a subject which should be left 
to the general Council. The Bill also gives power to the 
Governor-General in cases of emergency to pass an ordinance 
having the force of law for a limited period. Questions might 
arise about the Arms Act, or the press, as to which it would be 
very injudicious that delay should occur ; and we, therefore, 
propose to empower the Governor-General on his own authority 
to pass an ordinance having the force of law, to continue for 
a period of six months, unless disallowed by the Secretary of 
State or superseded by an Act of the Legislature. I believe 
I have now gone through the main provisions of the Bill. They 
have been carefully considered by the members of the Indian 
Council, men drawn from every part of India, of every profes- 
sion, and with the most varied experience. The measure has 
been prepared with their entire concurrence, and it has the 
approval of most of the persons with whom I have conversed 
on the subject. All I can say is that every precaution has been 
taken in the framing of the Bill to make it effectual for the 
accomplishment of the object which it is designed to achieve. 
Every one has been consulted whose opinion, I thought, ought 
to be taken. It has been carefully considered by the Govern- 
ment in India and the Government at home. I venture, there- 
fore, to submit it to the House in the hope that, with such 
Amendments as may be made in it in its progress through 
Parliament, it may tend to the happiness of India and the 
prosperity of the Queen's subjects in that portion of Her 
Majesty's dominions. 



II. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1869. 

(32 & 33 Viet,, Ch. 98) 

AN ACT TO DEFINE THE POWERS OF THE GOVERNOR- 
GENERAL OF INDIA IN COUNCIL AT MEETINGS FOR MAKING 
LAWS AND REGULATIONS FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES. (llth 
August, 18691 

Whereas doubts have arisen as to the extent of power of the 
Governor-General of India in Council to make laws binding 
upon native Indian subjects beyond the Indian territories under 
the dominion of Her Majesty ; 

And whereas it is expedient that better provision should 
be made in other respects for the exercise of the power of the 
Governor-General in Council : 

Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and 
Temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, 
and by the authority of the same, as follows : 

1. From and after the passing of this Act, the Gover- 

nor-General of India in Council shall have 
for^tTv^in'diSlfsubilSI power at meetings for the purpose of mak- 
?o e r y ies. d tbe Indian terri " i n g l aws an d regulations to make laws and 

regulations for all persons being native 
Indian subjects of Her Majesty, Her heirs and successors, 
without and beyond, as well as within the Indian territories 
under the dominion of Her Majesty. 

2. No law heretofore passed by the Governor-General of 

India, or by the Governors of Madras and 
valid?"" 6 ' law8 t0 be Bambay, respectively in Council, shall be 

deemed to be invalid solely by reason of its 
having reference to native subjects of Her Majesty not within 
the Indian territories under the dominion of Her Majesty. 

3. Notwithstanding anything in the Indian Councils Act 
Power to re eai or or ' m ^ n ^ otner Act of Parliament contain- 

amend W certain e section8 ed, any law or regulation, which shall here- 
of 3 and 4, will. 4, c. 8 5 . after be made by the Governor-General in 

Council in manner in the said Indian Councils Act provided, 



ISO THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1870. 

shall not be invalid by reason only that it may repeal or affect 
any of the provisions of the said Act of the third and fourth 
years of King William the Fourth, chapter eighty-five, contain- 
ed in sections eighty-one, eighty-two, eighty-three, eighty-four, 
eighty-five and eighty-six of the said Act. 



III. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1870. 

(33 Viet., Ch. 3.) 

AN ACT TO MAKE BETTER PROVISION FOR MAKING LAWS 
AND REGULATIONS FOR CERTAIN PARTS OF INDIA, AND FOR 
CERTIAN OTHER PURPOSES RELATING THERETO. ( 25th 

March, 1870) 

Whereas it is expedient that provision should be made to 
enable the Governor-General of India in Council to make regu- 
lations for the peace and good government of certain territories 
in India otherwise than at meetings for the purpose of making 
laws and regulations held under the provisions of the Indian 
Councils Act 1861, and also for certain other purposes connect- 
ed with the Government of India : 

Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and 
Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, 
and by the authority of the same, as follows : 

I. Every Governor of a Presidency in Council, Lieutenant- 
Governor, or Chief Commissioner, whether 

Power to Executive the Governorship, or Lieutenant-Governor- 
Government of British . . >-,. . r X i 1 
India to make reguia- ship, or Chief Commissionership, be now 

S2iof? r certain ***** in existence or may hereafter be estab- 
lished, shall have power to propose to the 
Governor-General in Council drafts of any regulations, together 
with the reasons for proposing the same, for the peace and 
good government of any part or parts of the territories under his 
government or administration to which the Secretary of State 
for India shall from time to time by resolution in Council 
declare the provisions of this section to be applicable from any 
date to be fixed in such resolution. 

And the Governor-General in Council shall take such drafts 
and reasons into consideration ; and when any such draft 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, iS/O. l8l 

shall have been approved of by the Governor-General in Coun- 
cil, and shall have received the Governor-General's assent, it 
shall be published in the "Gazette of India" and in the local 
"Gazette" and shall thereupon have like force of law and be 
subject to the like disallowances as if it had been made by the 
Governor-General of India in Council at a meeting for the pur- 
pose of making laws and regulations. 

The Secretary of State for India in Council may from time 
to time withdraw such power from any Governor, Lieutenant- 
Governor, or Chief Commissioner, on whom it has been con- 
ferred, and may from time to time restore the same as he shall 
think fit. 

2. The Governor-General shall transmit to the Secretary 

of State for India in Council an authentic 
Copies of regulations copy of every regulation which shall have 

to be sent to Secretary i j ^i r ^.i 

of state, subsequent been made under the provisions of this 
regulation!. to c ntroi Act ; and all laws or regulations hereafter 
made by the Governor-General of India in 
Council, whether at a meeting for the purpose of making laws 
and regulations, or under the said provisions, shall control and 
supersede any regulation in anywise repugnant thereto which 
shall have been made under the same provisions. 

3. Whenever the Governor-General in Council shall hold 

a meeting for the purpose of making laws 
et" e ?o e Ke a m b V e e r r s n ex r ! and regulations at any place within the 



limits of any territories now or hereafter 
making laws and reguia- placed under the administration of a Lieu- 

tenant-Governor or a Chief Commissioner, 
the Lieutenant-Governor or Chief Commissioner respectively 
shall be ex officio an Additional Member of the Council of the 
Governor-General for that purpose, in excess (if necessary) of 
the maximum number of twelve specified by the said Act. 

4. Section forty-nine of the Act of the third and 

Fourth years of King William the 
Wiu. ec 4;cn?8 5 f re 3 pe a a n i d ed1 Fourth, chapter eighty five, is hereby 
repealed. 

5. Whenever any measure shall be proposed before the 

Governor-General of India in Council 

Procedure in case of whereby the safety, tranquillity, or interests 

GovVrlion-Qeneraf" and of the British possessions in India, or any 

the majority of his coun- part thereof are or maybe, in the judgment 

of the said Governor-General, essentially 



182 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1 870. 

affected, and he shall be of opinion either that the measure pro- 
posed ought to be adopted and carried into execution, or that it 
ought to be suspended or rejected, and the majority in Council 
then present shall dissent from such opinion, the Governor-Gen- 
eral may, on his own authority and responsibility, suspend or 
reject the measure in part or in whole, or adopt and carry it 
into execution, but in every such case any two members of the 
dissentient majority may require that the said suspension, rejec- 
tion, or adoption, as well as the fact of their dissent, shall be 
notified to the Secretary of State for India, and such notification 
shall be accompanied by copies of the minutes (if any) which the 
Members of the Council shall have recorded on the subject. 

6. Whereas it is expedient that additional facilities should 

be given for the employment of natives of 
nat r r o, to . n d India of proved merit and ability, in the 
certain offices without Civil Service of Her Majesty in India : 
ton^toSSSStoSff. Be it enacted, that nothing in the "Act for 

the Government of India," twenty one 
and twenty-two Victoria, chapter one hundred and six, or in 
the "Act to confirm certain appointments in India, and to 
amend the law concerning the Civil Service there," twenty- 
four and twenty-five Victoria, chapter fifty-four, or in any 
other Act of Parliament or other law now in force in India, 
shall restrain the authorities in India by whom appointments 
are or may be made to offices, places, and employments in 
the Civil Service of Her Majesty in India from appointing any 
native of India to any such office, place, or employment, 
although such native shall not have been admitted to the said 
Civil Service of India in manner in section thirty-two of the 
first-mentioned Act provided, but subject to such rules as may 
be from time to time prescribed by the Governor-General in 
Council and sanctioned by the Secretary of State in Council, 
with the concurrence of a majority of members present ; and 
that for the purpose of this Act the words "natives of India" 
shall include any person born and domiciled within the domi- 
nions of Her Majesty in India, of parents habitually resident in 
India, and not established there for temporary purposes only ; 
and that it shall be lawful for the Governor-General in Council 
to define and limit from time to time the qualification of 
'natives of India' thus expressed ; provided that every resolution 
made by him for such purpose shall be subject to the sanction of 
the Secretary of State in Council, and shall not have force until 
it has been laid for thirty days before both Houses of Parliament. 



IV. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1871. 

(34 & 35 Viet, Ch. 34.) 

AN ACT TO EXTEND IN CERTAIN RESPECTS THE POWER 
OF LOCAL LEGISLATURES IN INDIA AS REGARDS EUROPEAN 
BRITISH SUBJECTS. 

UQth June, 1871), 

Whereas it is expedient that the power of making laws 
and regulations conferred on Governors of Presidencies in India 
in Council by the Indian Councils Act, 24 & 25 Viet, ch, 67., 
sec. 42 should in certain respects be extended : 

Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty etc. 
* * as follows : 

1. No law or regulation heretofore made or hereafter to 

to be made by any Governor or Lieutenant- 
Power to Local Legis- Governor in Council in India in manner 
SSJttS t0 .vS Bl B r rl l SS; prescribed by the aforesaid Act shall be 
Ma^?rate 8 8U ^n ect c 8 ertaiS invalid only by the reason that it confers 
cases, on Magistrates, being justices of the 

peace, the same jurisdiction over European 
British subjects as such Governor or Lieutenant-Governor in 
Council, by regulations made as aforesaid, could have lawfully 
conferred or could lawfully confer on Magistrates in the 
exercise of authority over natives in the like cases. 

2. When evidence has been given in any proceeding 

under this Act before a Magistrate, being 
Committal of defen- a justice of the peace, which appears to be 

dant (being an European rr , c ., ... P * /. , 

British subject,) to the sufficient for the conviction of the accused 
No? h xxv rt 'o ( / n< l8 a 6 n ., A s! person, being an European British subject, 
" 6) of an offence for which, if a native, he 

would under existing law be triable exclu- 
sively before the Court of Session, or which, in the opinion of 
the Magistrate is one which ought to be tried by the High 
Court, the accused person, if such European British subject, 
shall be sent for trial by the Magistrate before the High Court. 



184 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1892. 

3. And whereas by an Act passed by the Governor- 
General of India in Council, Indian Act, 
Power to local Legis- No. XXII of 1870, it is provided that 
JaiSTaws. " certain Acts heretofore passed by the 
Governors of Madras and Bombay res- 
pectively in Council, and by the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal 
in Council, shall, so far as regards the liability of European 
British subjects to be convicted and punished thereunder, be 
and be deemed to be as valid as if they had been passed by 
the Governor-General of India in Council at a meeting for the 
purpose of making laws and regulations : Be it further enacted, 
that the said Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in Council 
respectively shall have power to repeal and amend any of the 
said Acts so declared valid, by Acts to be passed under the 
provisions of the Indian Councils Act. 

V. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1892 

(55 and 56, Viet. ch. 14) 
A. 

AN ACT TO AMEND THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, l86l. 

Be it enacted by the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty 
etc. * * as follows : 

I. (i) The number of additional members of Council 

nominated by the Governor-General under 

Provisions for increase the provisions of section ten of the Indian 

ilto^cSJBto'to Councils Act, 1861, shall be such as to be 

^? d *?Vt him ma y seem from time to time ex - 

67. pedient, but shall not be less than ten nor 

more than sixteen ; and the number of 
additional members of Council nominated by the Governors of 
the Presidencies of Fort St. George and Bombay respectively 
under the provisions of section twenty-nine of the Indian 
Councils Act, 1861, shall (besides the Advocate-General of the 
presidency or officer acting in that capacity) be such as to the 
said Governors respectively may seem from time to time 
expedient, but shall not be less than eight nor more than 
twenty. 

(2) It shall be lawful for the Governor- General in Council 
by proclamation from time to time to increase the number of 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1892, 185 

Councillors whom the Lieutenant-Governors of the Bengal 
Division of the Presidency of Fort William and of the North- 
Western Provinces and Oudh respectively may nominate for 
their assistance in making laws and regulations : Provided 
always, that not more than twenty shall be nominated for the 
Bengal Division, and not more than fifteen for the North- 
VVestern Provinces and Oudh. 

(3) Any person resident in India may be nominated an 
additional member of Council under sections ten and twenty- 
nine of the Indian Councils Act, 1861, and this Act, or a 
member of the Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of any 
province to which the provision of the Indian Councils Act, 
1 86 1, touching the making of laws and regulations, have been 
or are hereafter extended or made applicable. 

(4) The Governor- General in Council may from time to 
time with the approval of the Secretary of State in Council, 
make regulations as to the conditions under which such nomi- 
nations, or any of them, shall be made by the Governor-General, 
Governors, and Lieutenant-Governors respectively and prescribe 
the manner in which such regulations shall be carried into 
effect. 

2. Notwithstanding any provision in the Indian Councils 
Act, 1861, the Governor-General of India 
s 1 v p ict" in Council may from time to time make 
at rules authorising at any meeting of the 
Governor-General's Council for the purpose 
of making laws and regulations the discussion of Annual 
Financial Statement of the Governor-General in Council and 
the asking of questions, but under such conditions and restric- 
tions as to subject or otherwise as shall be in the said rules 
prescribed or declared : And notwithstanding any provisions in 
the Indian Councils Act, 1861, the Governors in Council of 
Fort St. George and Bombay respectively, and the Lieutenant- 
Governor of any province to which the provisions of the Indian 
Councils Act, 1861, touching the making of laws and regula- 
tions, have been or are hereafter extended or made applicable, 
may from time to time make rules for authorising at any 
meeting of their respective Councils for the purpose of making 
laws and regulations the discussion of the Annual Financial 
Statement of their respective local Governments, and the asking 
of questions, but under such conditions and restrictions, as to 
subject or otherwise, as shall in the said rules applicable to 
24 



186 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT. 1892. 

such Councils respectively be prescribed or declared. But no 
member at any such meeting of any Council shall have power to 
submit or propose any resolution, or to divide the Council 
in respect of any such financial discussion, or the answer to 
any question asked under the authority of this Act, or the rules 
made under this Act : Provided that any rule made under this 
Act by a Governor in Council, or by a Lieutenant-Governor, 
shall be submitted for and shall be subject to the sanction of 
the Governor-General in Council, and any rule made under 
this Act by the Governor-General in Council shall be submitted 
for and shall be subject to the sanction of the Secretary of 
State in Council : Provided also that rules made under this Act 
shall not be subject to alteration or amendment at meetings for 
the purpose of making laws and regulations. 

3. It is hereby declared that in the twenty-second section 
of the Indian Councils Act, 1861, it was 
ai and is intended that the words "Indian 



\6 stw'virt'c C g5 S ; & territories now under the dominion of Her 
Majesty" should be read and construed as 
if the words "or hereafter" were and had at the time of the 
passing of the said Act been inserted next after the word 
"now," and further, that the Acts third and fourth William the 
Fourth, Chapter eighty-five, and sixteenth and seventeenth 
Victoria, Chapter ninety-five, repectively, shall be read and 
construed as if at the date of the enactment thereof respectively, 
it was intended and had been enacted that the said Acts 
respectively should extend to and include the territories 
acquired after the dates thereof repectively by the East India 
Company, and should not be confined to the territories at the 
dates of the said enactments respectively in the possession and 
under the Government of the said Company. 

4. Sections thirteen and thirty-two of the Indian Councils 
Re ea| Act, 1 86 1, are hereby repealed, and it is 

enacted that 

(i) If any additional member of Council, or any member 

of the Council of a Lieutenant-Governor, 

Power to fin up appointed under the said Act or this Act, 

vacancy in number of *,, , , r T ,. . . 

additional members. shall be absent from India or unable to 
attend to the duties of his office for a 
period of two consecutive months, it shall be lawful for the 
Governor- General, the Governor, or the Lieutenant-Governor, 
to whose Council such additional member or member may 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1892. 187 

have been nominated (as the case may be) to declare, by a 
notification published in the Government Gazette, that the seat 
in Council of such person has become vacant : 

(2) In the event of a vacancy occurring by the absence 
from India, inability to attend to duty, death, acceptance of 
office, or resignation duly accepted, of any such additional 
member or member of the Council of a Lieutenant-Governor, 
it shall be lawful for the Governor-General, for the Governor, 
or for the Lieutenant-Governor, as the case may be, to nominate 
any person as additional member or member, as the case may 
be, in his place ; and every member so nominated shall be 
summoned to all meetings held for the purpose of making laws 
and regulations for the term of two years from the date of such 
nomination : Provided always that it shall not be lawful by 
such nomination, or by any other nomination made under this 
Act, to diminish the proportion of non-official members directed 
by the Indian Councils Act, 1861, to be nominated. 

5. The local legislature of any province in India may 
from time to time, by Acts passed under 
and subject to the provisions of the Indian 
Councils Act, 1861, and with the previous 
sanction of the Governor-General but not otherwise, repeal or 
amend as to that province any law or regulation made either 
before or after the passing of this Act by any authority in India 
other than that local legislature : Provided that an Act or a 
provision of an Act made by a local legislature, and subsequent- 
ly assented to by the Governor-General in pursuance of the 
Indian Councils Act, 1861, shall not be deemed invalid by 
reason only of its requiring the previous sanction of the 
Governor-General under this section. 

6. In this Act The expression, "local 



Definitions. 



legislature", means 



(1) The Governor-in-Council for the purpose of making 
laws and regulations of the respective provinces of Fort St. 
George and Bombay ; and 

(2) The Council for the purpose of making laws and 
regulations of the Lieutenant-Governor of any province to 
which the provisions of the Indian Councils Act, 1861, touching 
the making of laws or regulations have been or are hereafter 
extended or made applicable : 



1 88 LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 

The expression "Province" means any presidency, division, 
province, or territory over which the powers of any local legis- 
lature for the time being extend. 

7. Nothing in this Act shall detract from or diminish the 

saving oi powers of P owers ? f th ^ Governor-General in Council 
Governor-General in at meetings for the purpose of making laws 
and regulations. 

8. This Act may be cited as the Indian Councils Act, 

1892, and the Indian Councils Act, 1861, 
short title. and this Act may be cited together as the 

Indian Councils Acts, 1861 and 1892. 



B. 

EXTRACTS FROM MR. (NOW LORD) CURZON'S SPEECH 
IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ON THE SECOND READING OF 
THE INDIAN COUNCILS BILL OF 1892. 

MR. 'now LORD) CURZON, Under-Secretary of State for 
India, in moving the second reading of the Indian Councils 
Bill (1892 , said that the object of this Bill was to widen the 
basis and expand the functions of the Government of India, to 
give further opportunities than at present existed to the non- 
official and native element in Indian society to take part in the 
work of government, and in that way to lend official recognition 
to that remarkable development both in political interest and 
capacity which had been visible among the higher classes of 
Indian society since the government was taken over by the 
Crown in 1858. In form this Bill was one to amend the 
Indian Councils Act of 1861. Legislative powers of some 
sort or other, but of a somewhat confused character, had exist- 
ed in India for a very long time. They existed under the rule 
of the old East India Company ; but the modern Legislative 
system under which India at present existed owed its origin 
to LORD CANNING when Viceroy, and SIR CHARLES WOOD 
when Secretary of State in 1861, in which year the latter carried 
the Indian Councils Bill through the House. 

The Act of 1 86 1 constituted three Legislative Councils in 
India the Supreme Council of the Viceroy and the provincial 
Councils of Madras and Bombay. The Supreme Council of the 
Viceroy, or, as it was called, the Council for the purpose of 



LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 189 

making laws and regulations only, consisted of the Governor- 
General and an executive Council of a minimum of six and a 
maximum of 12 members, nominated by the Governor-General. 
The Legislative Councils of Madras and Bombay were also 
recruited by a minimum of four and a maximum of eight addi- 
tional members nominated by the Provincial Governor, of whom 
half, at least, must be non-official. Since the passing of the Act 
of 1 86 1 Legislative Councils had also been called into existence 
in Bengal and in the North-Western Provinces. In Bengal 
the Council consisted of the Lieutenant-Governor and 12 
nominated Councillors, and in the North-Western Provinces 
the Council consisted of the Lieutenant-Governor and nine 
nominated Councillors. In both cases one-third of the nomi- 
nated members must be non-official. This system had un- 
doubtedly worked well. It had justified itself and the anti- 
cipation of its promoters. Operating to a very large extent 
through the agency of sub-committees, composed of experts, it 
had proved to be an efficient instrument for the evolution of 
law. The publicity which had attended its proceedings had 
had a good effect, a number of native gentlemen of capacity 
and public spirit had been persuaded to come forward and 
lend their services, and undoubtedly the standard of merit in 
these Councils had been high. 

At the same time these Councils had been subject to 
restrictions and limitations which were intentionally, and he 
thought wisely, imposed upon them. In the first place, they 
were in no sense of the term Parliamentary bodies. They were 
deliberative bodies with a comparatively narrow scope, 
inasmuch as they were assembled for the discussion of the 
immediate legislation which lay before them and were not 
permitted to travel outside that very circumscribed area. 
Under these circumstances it had been felt that there was 
wanting to the Government an opportunity for explaining 
policy and for replying to hostile criticism or attack, and 
at the same time that there was also wanting to the 
non-official element to those who might legitimately call 
themselves the guardians of the public interest an opportunity 
of asking for information, of stating their grievances, and 
of becoming acquainted with the policy of the Government. 
These feelings had been expressed in many memorials 
that had been addressed, over a large number of years, 
to the Government of India by important public bodies and 
associations throughout the country. LORD DUFFERIN, in 



190 LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892, 

February, 1887, the occasion being the celebration of the 
Queen's Jubilee, spoke of the desirablility of reconstituting 
the Supreme Legislative Council of the Viceroy on a broader 
basis and of enlarging its functions ; and in November of the 
following year he sent home a despatch in which he recom- 
mended, in the first place, an early financial discussion in 
the Supreme Legislative Council of the Budget of the year. 
LORD DUFFERIN said in that despatch that he did not mean 
that votes should be taken in regard to the various items of 
the Budget, or that the heads of expenditure should be sub- 
mitted in detail to the Council, but simply that the opportunity 
should be given for a full, free, and thorough criticism and 
examination of the financial policy of the Government. In 
the same despatch LORD DUFFERIN suggested that questions 
should be asked in the Supreme Legislative Council on matters 
dealing with native as opposed to Imperial interest. 

In 1888 LORD DUFFERIN left India, and early in the 
following year he was succeeded by the eminent statesman who 
now held the office of Viceroy. Since his accession to the 
Viceroyalty LORD LANSDOWNE had signified his approbation of 
the annual discussion of the Budget in the manner suggested, 
and also of the right of addressing questions to the Government 
on matters of public interest. Both these propositions were 
treated of in a despatch by the Secretary of State in August, 
1889, and he dealt with them in relation to the Legislative 
Council of the Viceroy and also to the Provincial Councils. In 
the same despatch the noble Lord signified his desire for the 
enlargement of the representation of the public in India by an 
addition to the number of members of the Council and by some 
extension of the present system of nomination, Inasmuch as 
this could not be carried into effect without legislation, the 
noble lord had enclosed in the despatch a draft Bill, upon 
which he invited the opinions of the Central and the Provin- 
cial Governments of India. These and other criticisms and 
suggestions were found to be eminently favourable to the con- 
templated measure, and from these germs sprung the Indian 
Councils Bill of which he now moved the second reading. 

A few words as to the Parliamentary history of the measure. 
It had been in no ordinary degree the victim of parliamentary 
vicissitudes, and up to the present its career had been one of 
mingled success and disappointment. It was introduced 
for the first time in the House of Lords in 1890, and a 



LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. IQI 

most important discussion a model of what such a dis- 
cussion should be took place on the second reading. In 
Committee a number of important and valuable amendments 
were made by noble lords who had had experience in the 
government of India. So amended, the Bill passed and 
came down to the House of Commons, where it did not succeed 
in getting beyond the first reading. In 1891 it was introduced 
in the House of Commons and fell a victim to hardship of 
fortune or the immoderate interest displayed by the Opposition 
in other topics of Parliamentary interest. In the present year 
the Bill was again introduced into the House of Lords in its 
amended form of 1890, and it had passed through its various 
stages without alteration, but supported by expressions of 
strong approval from several noble lords. The delay in passing 
the Bill had naturally been a source of regret to the Government 
at home, and regret had been equally felt in India, where there 
was a good deal of disappointment at the tardy arrival of a 
long-promised reform and at the apparent willingness of this 
House to postpone the consideration of a non-controversial and 
constitutional change for India to the perennial and unprofitable 
discussion of constitutional changes of a highly controversial 
character for other parts of the United Kingdom nearer home, 
which, from an Indian point of view, were infinitesimally 
small and comparatively unimportant. This disappoint- 
ment in India had been legitimate, and undoubtedly it had 
been felt by the present Viceroy, who, having inaugurated his 
term of office by signifying his hearty approval of this Bill, 
had naturally looked forward to being able to carry it into 
execution before his term of office expired. These feelings 
were shared by members of the House, if he might judge from 
questions addressed to his predecessor, and also by those who 
held extreme opinions, and who, while regarding the Bill as 
inadequate, were yet desirous that it should pass into law. 
In July of last year the British Committee of the Indian 
National Congress, who might be supposed to represent the 
more extreme views on this subject, addressed a letter to the 
Secretary of State, in which they expressed their deep regret 
at the withdrawal of the Bill, which would cause such bitter dis- 
appointment in India. In the present year LORD KlMBERLEY, 
who had been Secretary of State for India, had spoken in the 
same sense, adding 

" I echo most sincerely the hope that this measure will be pressed by 
Her Majesty's Government and will pass into law. It is really a misfortune 



192 LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 

that a measure of this kind should be hung up Session after Session. How- 
ever important to us may be our domestic legislation, let us not forget that we 
have an immense responsibility in the government of that great Empire in 
India, and that it is not well for us to palter long with questions of this 
kind. And I am the more desirous that this measure should be dealt with 
because I have observed with great pleasure that in India the tone has 
much moderated in dealing with this subject, and that very sensible views 
have been expressed at meetings held in India ; and there is now a reason- 
able promise that there will be an agreement as to a tentative and commen- 
cing measure upon this subject. We must not look for it all at once ; but 
if we can make a beginning I believe we shall lay the foundation for what 
may be a real benefit and a real security to our Indian Empire." 

It was a legitimate inference from these expressions of 
opinion that the Bill would be welcomed on both sides of the 
House, and that even those who held advanced views would 
facilitate its passing. The changes which it was proposed to 
make by the Bill were, broadly speaking, three in number. 
The first was the concession of the privilege of financial 
criticism in both the Supreme and the Provincial Councils ; 
the second was the concession of the privilege of interpellation ; 
the third was the addition to the number of members in both 
classes of Councils. First as regarded financial discussion, he 
had already pointed out that under the existing law this was 
possible only when the Finance Minister proposed a new tax. 
At other times the Budget in India was circulated in the form 
of a pamphlet, and no discussion could take place upon it. 
During the 30 years since the Councils Act of 1861 there had 
been 16 occasions upon which new legislation had been called 
for and such discussion had taken place and there had been 
14 on which there had been no discussion at all. By this Bill 
power would be given to discuss the Budget annually in both 
the Supreme and the Provincial Councils. It was not contem- 
plated, as the extracts he had read from the despatch of LORD 
DUFFERIN would show, to vote the Budget in India item by item, 
as was done in that House, and to subject it to all the obstacles 
and delays Parliamentary ingenuity could suggest ; but it was 
proposed to give opportunity to the members of the Councils 
to indulge in a full and free criticism of the financial policy 
of the Government, and he thought that all parties would be 
in favour of such a discussion. The Government would gain, 
because they would have the opportunity of explaining their 
financial policy, of removing misapprehension, and of answering 
criticism and 1 attack ; and they would profit by criticism deliver- 
ed on a public occasion with* a due sense of responsibility and 



LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 193 

by the most competent representatives of unofficial India. The 
native community would gain, because they would have the 
opportunity of reviewing the financial situation independently 
of the mere accident of legislation being required for any 
particular year, and also because criticism upon the financial 
policy of the Government, which now found vent in anonymous 
and even scurrilous papers in India, would be uttered by 
responsible persons in a public position. Lastly, the interests 
of finance would gain by this increased publicity and the 
stimulus of a vigorous and instructive scrutiny. These discus- 
sions could have no other result than to promote sound economi- 
cal administration in India. It was now 20 years since LORD 
MAYO, that wise and enlightened Viceroy, first proposed the 
submission of provincial Budgets to Provincial Councils. At 
that time he was overruled by the Government at home, which 
he believed was one of the Governments of the right hon. 
gentleman opposite, at any rate he hoped both sides of the 
House would now co-operate in making a change which spoke 
for itself. The second change introduced by the Bill was the 
concession of the right of interpellation or of asking questions. 
It was proposed to give to members of both Councils, the Su- 
preme and the Provincial Councils, this right of asking ques- 
tions on matters of public interest. But both this privilege and 
the one to which he had previously alluded would be subject, 
under the terms of the Act, to such conditions and restrictions 
as might be prescribed in rules made by the Governor-General 
or the Provincial Governors. The merits of the proposal, he 
thought, were obvious. It was desirable, in the first place, in 
the interests of the Government, which at the present moment 
was without the means of making known its policy or of 
answering criticisms or animadversions or of silencing calumny. 
And it was also desirable in the interests of the public of 
India who, in the absence of official information, were apt to 
be misled, to form erroneous apprehensions, and to entertain 
unjust ideas. The third proposal was to add to the number of 
members upon the Councils. The Supreme Legislative Council 
consisted at present, in addition to its ex-officio members, 
who number seven, of a minimum of six and a maximum of 
12 nominated members ; under the Bill the minimum would 
be raised to ten and the maximum to 16. The Madras and 
Bombay Councils consisted, in addition to their four ex-officio 
members, of a minimum of four and a maximum of eight no- 
minated members, of whom half were non-official ; under the 

25 



194 LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 

Bill the minimum would be eight and the maximum 20. The 
Council of Bengal consisted at present of 12 nominated members 
of whom one-third were non-official ; under the Bill the number 
would be increased to 20. The Council of the North-Western 
Provinces at present consisted of nine nominated members, of 
whom also one third must be non-official ; under the Bill they 
would be raised to 15. The object of these additions was easily 
stated and would be as easily understood. It was simply, by 
extending the area of selection in each case, to add to the 
strength and representative character of the Councils. The late 
MR. BRADLAUGH, who at different times introduced two Bills 
dealing with the reform of the Indian Councils into the House, 
proposed in those measures to swell the numbers to quite im- 
practicable and unmanageable proportions. Under his first Bill 
their totals would have amounted to 260 and under the second 
to 230. 

Mr. SCHWANN asked whether the figures just quoted 
referred to the Councils altogether or to each separately ? 

Mr. CURZON replied that he was speaking of the five 
Councils he had mentioned, and the totals for those five 
Councils. Any one who had any practical acquaintance with 
India must be aware that the number of persons both competent 
and willing to take part in the functions of those Councils was 
nothing like adequate to supply those ambitious totals. At 
the same time the number of persons so available was sufficient 
to justify an addition, and, perhaps, a not inconsiderable 
addition, to the present totals. Every year most fortunately 
the number of native gentlemen who were both qualified and 
willing to take part in the work of Government was increasing, 
and every year the advantage of their co-operation in 
government increased in the same ratio. More especially in the 
case of the Provincial Councils had it been thought that more 
effectual means were wanted to reinforce in those Councils un- 
official and native opinion. The Government believed that the 
moderate extension of the numbers which they proposed would 
have the effect which they contemplated, and at the same time 
would be compatible with efficiency. Coming to the concluding 
question, the mode in which those additional members were 
to be appointed, he noticed that the hon. member for North 
Manchester had on the paper an amendment declaring that no 
reform of the Indian Councils which does not embody the elective 
principle would prove satisfactory. But the Bill, he had to point 



LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 195 

out, does not exclude some such principle, be the method elec- 
tion, or selection, or delegation, or whatever particular phrase 
they liked to employ, The 4th subsection of Clause I runs as 
follows : 

"The Governor General in Council may from time to time, with the ap- 
proval of the Secretary of State in Council, make such regulations as to the 
conditions under which such nominations, or any of them shall be made by 
the Governor-General, Governors, and Lieutenant-Governors respectively, 
and prescribe the manner in which such regulations shall be carried into 
effect." 

"LORD KiMBERLEY himself had elsewhere, in an earlier 
stage of this Bill, expressed himself with reference to this clause 
as follows : 

"I am bound to say that I express my own satisfaction because I 
regard this as, to a certain extent, an admission of the elective 
principle," * * * "I myself believe that under this clause it would 
be possible for the Governor-General to make arrangements by which 
certain persons may be presented to him, having been chosen by election, if 
the Governor-General should find that such a system can be established." 

MR. MACLEAN. Does the Government accept that view of 

LORD KIMBERLEY ? 

MR. CURZON. Undoubtedly, Sir, the opinions expressed by 
LORD KIMBERLEY are also shared by the Secretary of State. 
Under this Act it would be in the power of the Viceroy to 
invite representative bodies in India to elect or select or delegate 
representatives of themselves and of their opinions to be 
nominated to those Houses, and thus by slow degrees, by 
tentative measures and measures like this could not be other- 
wise than tentative they should perhaps approximate to the 
ideal which the hon. member for Manchester had in view. He 
might mention as indicating and nothing more the character 
of the bodies and associations to which he alluded, such bodies 
as the association of the Zemindars of Bengal, the Chambers of 
Commerce of India, the municipalities of the great cities, the 
Universities, and perhaps the various great religious denomina- 
tions in that country. He could not conceive anything more 
unfortunate than that this House should draw up and send out 
to India a hard and fast elective scheme within the four walls of 
which the Government of that country should find itself confined, 
and which, if at some future period it proved inadequate or un- 
suitable, it would be impossible to alter without coming back 
to this House, and experiencing all the obstacles and delays of 



ig6 LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 

Parliamentary government in this House. He was well aware 
the proposal of the Government might not altogether suit those 
hon. gentlemen on the other side whose ideas of political 
progress had been formed in the breathless atmosphere of our 
life in the West and who were perhaps unable to accommodate 
their mood to the slower movement of life in the East. The 
hon. member opposite, for instance, was anxious to have the 
elective principle more clearly defined and more systematically 
enforced. He had put an amendment on the paper in which 
he asked the House to express the opinion that no reform of 
the Indian Councils which does not embody the elective 
principle will prove satisfactory to the Indian people 
or will be compatible with good government of India. 
The amendment was vitiated by a two-fold fallacy. It 
affected to speak on behalf of the Indian people, and it ignored 
the primary conditions of Indian life. When the hon. member 
presumed to be the mouthpiece of the people of India 
he must, with all respect, decline to accept his credentials on 
that point. No system of representation ever devised, no 
system of representation that the ingenuity of the hon. member 
could suggest, no system of representation which would bear 
24 hours' test of operation could possibly represent the people 
of India. The people of India were voiceless millions, who 
could neither read nor write their native tongue, who had no 
knowledge whatever of English, and who were not perhaps 
universally aware that the English were in their country as rulers. 
The people of India were ryots and peasants, and the plans 
and policies of the Congress party in India would leave this 
amorphous residuum absolutely untouched. He did not desire 
to speak in any other than respectful terms of the Congress 
party, which contained a number of intelligent, capable, and 
public-spirited men. They undoubtedly represented that part 
of the Indian population which had profited by the educational 
advantages we had placed at their doors ; but the constituencies 
the Congress party represented could not be described otherwise 
than as a minute and microscopic minority of the population. 
According to the last census the population of British India 
was 221 millions, and of that total it was calculated that not 
more than three or four per cent, could read or write in any of 
their native tongues, and only one-fourth or one-third per cent, 
could read or write in English. It appeared to him that we 
could as little judge of the feelings and political aspirations of 
the people of India, if, indeed they had any aspirations outside 



LORD CURZON'S SPEECH, 1892. 197 

the more material needs of their existence from the plans and 
policies of the Congress party as we could judge of the physical 
configuration of a country which was wrapped in the mists of 
the early morn, though all its topmost peaks might happen to 
be touched by the sun. To propose an elaborate system of 
representation for people in this stage of development might be 
at least premature and unwise ; and even with such a scheme 
to speak of the representation of the people of India would be a 
misuse of terms. The Government assumed the responsibility 
of stating that in their opinion the time had not come when 
representative institutions, as we understood the term, could be 
extended to India. The idea of representation was alien to the 
Indian mind. We had ourselves only arrived at it by slow 
degrees, and it was only in the last 25 years that we had in 
this country entered into the full enjoyment of that system. 
While it was impossible so to remodel the Indian Council as to 
give them the character of representative chambers, he would 
be sorry to deny the importance of criticism by gentlemen 
representing the native society in India. At present the sole 
vent available for that opinion was in the native Press and in 
organized meetings, such as the Indian National Congress. 
Everybody agreed that this knowledge and activity might be 
better utilized, and the Government believed that the subsection 
of Clause I would provide means by which representatives of 
the most important sections of native society would be appointed 
to the Councils. The Bill was, perhaps, not a great or an heroic 
measure, but at the same time it marked a decisive step, and a 
step in advance. As such it had been welcomed by every living 
Viceroy in India. It was foreshadowed by LORD DUFFERIN, 
it was earnestly asked for by LORD LANSDOWNE, and it had 
received the emphatic approval of of LORD NORTHBROOK not 
less than of LORD RIPON. There were two main objects which 
the House was entitled to require in new legislation for India 
that it should in no sense impair the efficiency of government 
and that it should also promote the interests of India. It was 
because he believed the measure would promote both these 
ends that he commended the Bill to the sympathetic attention 
of the House. 



c. 

EXTRACTS FROM MR. W. E. GLADSTONE'S SPEECH IN 
THE HOUSE OF COMMONS ON THE SECOND READING OF 
INDIAN COUNCILS BILL OF 1892. 

MR. GLADSTONE said As far as controversy is concerned, 
I hope that this debate may be compressed within narrow limits. 
My hon. friend the member for Manchester has asked the 
House by his amendment to declare that, in its opinion, no 
reform of the Indian Councils can be satisfactory which does 
not embody the elective principle. Looking at the Bill and at 
the amendment, I have to ask myself whether there is between 
them such a difference of opinion and principle as to make me 
desirous of going to an issue on that difference. Undoubtedly, 
looking at the Bill standing by itself, I am disposed to agree 
with my hon. friend that its language is insufficient and unsatis- 
factory in as far as it is ambiguous. But the Under-Secretary 
has introduced the Bill in a comprehensive and lucid speech, 
and if I were to criticize any portion of that speech it would be 
that portion of it in which the hon. gentleman addressed 
himself to the amendment before the House, because it 
appeared to be his object to put upon the amendment the most 
hostile construction it would bear. I, however, desire to put 
upon the speeches I have heard, and upon the Bill itself, 
the least controversial construction of which they are fairly 
susceptible. While the language of the Bill cannot be said to 
embody the elective principle, it is very peculiar language, 
unless it is intended to pave the way for the adoption of that 
principle. I believe it was suggested by a nobleman in the 
House of Lords, who is friendly to the elective principle in 
India, that, unless it had been intended to leave room for some 
peculiarities not yet introduced into the Indian system in the 
appointment of the members of the Councils under this Bill, it 
would have been a very singular form of speech to provide not 
simply that the Governor- General might nominate, but that he 
might make regulations as to the conditions under which such 
nominations should be made either by himself or by the 
Government in Council. It is plain that those who have 
adopted that language have in view something beyond mere 
nomination. Then I come to the speech of the Under-Secretary, 
which distinctly embodies something which I confess appears 



MR. GLADSTONE'S SPEECH, 1892. 199 

to me to be not very different from the assertions of my honour- 
able friend, except in the important point that the Under- 
secretary proposes to leave everything to the discretion, judg- 
ment, and responsibility of the Governor-General and the 
authorities in India. VVith that limitation the speech of the 
Under-Secretary appears to me to embody the elective principle 
in the only sense in which we should expect it to be embodied. 
My construction of the Under-Secretary's speech is that it 
implies that a serious effort should be made to consider care- 
fully those elements which, in the present condition of India, 
might furnish material for the introduction into the Councils 
of the elective principle. If that serious effort is to be made, 
by whom is it to be made ? I do not think that it can be made 
by the House of Commons except through the medium of 
empowering provisions. The hon. baronet the member for 
Evesham has spoken of a plan of that kind, and I observed 
with pleasure the genuinely liberal views of the hon. baronet with 
respect to Indian affairs and to the government of the Indian 
people, and were the hon. baronet to propose a plan of the kind 
he has indicated to the House it would no doubt contain much 
that would be useful, and wise, and honourable to the spirit 
of such an assembly as the House of Commons. It may, 
however, be doubted whether, even under such enlightened 
guidance, it would be wise on our part, with our imperfect know- 
ledge, to proceed to the determination of the particulars of such 
a plan. I think that the best course to take would be to com- 
mend the plan to the authorities in India with a clear indication 
of the principle on which we desire they should proceed. It 
is our business to give to those representing Her Majesty's 
Government in India ample information as to what we believe 
to be sound principles of government. It is the function of 
this House to comment upon any case in which we think the 
authorities in India have failed to give due effect to those 
principles ; but in the discharge of their high administrative 
functions, or as to the choice of means, there is no doubt that 
that should be left in their hands. It is evident that the great 
question and it is one of great and profound interst before 
the House is that of the introduction of the elective element 
into the government of India. That question overshadows and 
absorbs everything else. It is a question of vital importance; 
but it is at the same time of great difficulty. No more difficult 
office has ever been intrusted to a Governor-General than 
that of administering a Bill such as that which is now before 



2oo MR. GLADSTONE'S SPEECH, 1892. 

the House in a manner that shall be honourable and wise. 
I am not disposed to ask of the Governor- General, or of the 
Secretary of State, that they shall at once produce large 
and imposing results. What I wish is that their first steps 
shall be of a genuine nature, and that whatever scope they 
give to the elective principle shall be real. 

There are, of course, dangers in their way. There is the 
danger of subserviency. There is the danger of having persons 
who represent cliques, classes, or interests, and who may claim 
the honour of representing the people of India. The old story 
of the three tailors of Tooley-street does, after all, embody an 
important political truth, and it does exhibit a real danger. 
What we want is to get at the real heart and mind, the most 
upright sentiments, and the most enlightened thoughts of the 
people of India, but it is not an easy matter to do that. I think, 
however, that upon this point we are justified in being a little 
more sanguine than the Under-Secretary has been in his speech. 
The honourable member, however, did not venture to indicate 
where the materials for the elective element in India are to be 
found. Undoubtedly, as far as my own prepossessions go, I 
should look presumptively with the greatest amount of expecta- 
tion and hope to the municipal bodies of India, and to the 
local authorities, in which the elective element is already 
included in that country. My honourable friend, in moving 
the amendment, has pointed out authorities in favour of the 
elective principle, these including men who have been respon- 
sible for the actual administration of India. It is there that 
we stand upon solid ground, and Her Majesty's Government 
ought to understand that it will be regarded as a most grave 
disappointment if, after all the assurances we have received that 
an attempt will be made to bring into operation this powerful 
engine of government, there should not be some such result as 
we anticipate from their action. I do not speak of its amount, 
I speak more of its quality. In an Asiatic country like India, 
with its ancient civilization, with its institutions so peculiar, 
with such a diversity of races, religions, and pursuits, with 
such an enormous extent of country, and such a multitude 
of human beings as probably, except in the case of China, 
were never before under a single Government, I can under- 
stand that there should be difficulties in carrying what we 
desire to see accomplished ; but great as the difficulties are, 
the task is a noble task, and will require the utmost prudence 
and care in conducting it to a successful termination. But 



MR. GLADSTONE'S SPEECH, 1892. 201 

after the assurances we have had from persons of the highest 
capacity, and the greatest responsibility, I believe we are 
justified in looking forward, not merely to a nominal, but to a 
real living representation of the people of India. The great 
nation to which we belong has undoubtedly had to do most 
difficult tasks in the government and in the foundation of the 
institutions of extraneous territories But all the other parts 
of the British Empire have presented to us a simple problem 
in comparison with the great problem presented to us by India. 
Its magnitude, its technicality, is such that the task of Great 
Britain in this respect is far greater than that which any other 
country has attempted, and far greater than that which it has 
itself attempted beyond the sea in any of the dependencies 
of the Empire. I rejoice to think that a great and real ad- 
vance has been made, both before and especially since the 
direct transfer of the Indian Government to the immediate 
superintendence of the Executive at home, and to the authority 
of the Imperial Legislature. The progress thus made has been 
made by the constant application to the government of India 
of the minds of able men acting under a strong sense of duty, 
and also a strong sense of political responsibility. All these 
things induce us to look forward cheerfully to a great future 
for India, and to expect that a real success will attend the 
genuine application, even though it may be a limited one, of 
the elective principle to the government of that vast and almost 
immeasurable community. If this attempt be successful, it will 
be the accomplishment of a task to which it would be difficult to 
find a parallel in history. I see no such difference between 
my hon. friend's language and the language of the Bill as 
ought to induce my hon. friend to divide the House. If the 
language of my hon. friend is to receive a perfectly legitimate, 
and not a strained, construction, it is only an amplification and 
not a contradiction of what the speech of the hon. gentleman 
the Under-Secretary implies. I think it would be a great 
misfortune if the House were to divide on the subject. I 
think that the acceptance of the elective principle by the hon. 
gentleman, though guarded, was on the whole not otherwise 
than a frank acceptance. I do not think there is on that side 
of the House any jealousy of the introduction into India of 
that principle which, undoubtedly, if it did exist, would form a 
strong mark of difference between the party who sits there and 
the party who sits on this side of the House. In reality, 
and in substance, we have the same objects in view, and are 

26 



202 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1909. 

prepared to recommend the employment of the same means. 
If that be so, it would be unfortunate that any division should 
take place even though the numbers might be very unequal. 
I certainly could not take part in any division hostile, or ap- 
parently hostile, to the Bill. After the speech of the hon. 
gentleman such a division would convey a wrong impression. 
It would be well that the people of India should understand 
that united views on this question substantially prevail in 
this House. My persuasion is that those views are united, 
and that they are such as tend to the development of an en- 
lightened and not only a liberal but a free system of govern- 
ment. I venture to submit that the hon. gentleman has no 
substantial quarrel with the intentions of the Government, 
and that we should do well to allow this Bill to receive the 
unanimous assent of the House in the present Session, in the 
hope that without serious difficulty it may shortly become 
law and fulfil the beneficent purposes with which it has been 
framed. 

VI. THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1909. 

AN ACT TO AMEND THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACTS l86l AND 
1892, AND THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ACT, 1833. 

(May 25, 1909) 

Be it enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty * * * 
as follows : 

i. (i) The additional members of the Councils for the 

purpose of making laws and regulations 

adSX^rV&SSZ (hereinafter referred to as Legislative 

Councils. 24 & 25 vict. Councils) of the Governor-General and of 

c. 6 7 . 55 & S 6 vict. c. the Goyernors of Fort St George and 

Bombay, and the members of the Legisla- 
tive Councils already constituted, or which may hereafter be 
constituted, of the several Lieutenant-Governors of Provinces, 
instead of being all nominated by the Governor-General, 
Governor, or Lieutenant-Governor in manner provided by the 
Indian Councils Acts, 1861 and 1892, shall include members 
so nominated and also members elected in accordance with 
regulations made under this Act, and references in those Acts 
to the members so nominated and their nomination shall be 
construed as including references to the members so elected 
and their election. 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1909, 203 

(2) The number of additional members or members so 
nominated and elected, the number of such members required 
to constitute a quorum, the term of office of such members and 
the manner of filling up casual vacancies occurring by reason 
of absence from India, inability to attend to duty, death, 
acceptance of office, or resignation duly accepted, or otherwise, 
shall, in the case of each such Council, be such as may be 
prescribed by regulations made under this Act : 

Provided that the aggregate number of members so 
nominated and elected shall not, in the case of any Legislative 
Council mentioned in the first column of the First Schedule to 
this Act, exceed the number specified in the second column of 
that schedule. 

2. (i) The number of ordinary members of the Councils 
of the Governors of Fort Saint George 

P roc C e d n uVe tU of E X ecut a i^ and Bombay shall be such number not 
councils of Governors of exceeding four as the Secretary of State 

Fort Saint George and /-. ., r .. ,. j. 

Bombay. in Council may from time to time direct 

of whom two at least shall be persons who 
at the time of their appointment have been in the service of the 
Crown in India for at least twelve years. 

(2) If at any meeting of either of such Councils there 
is an equality of votes on any question the Governor or other 
person presiding shall have two votes or the casting vote. 

3. (i) It shall be lawful for the Governor-General in 

Power to constitute Council, with the approval of the Secretary 

provincial executive of State in Council, by proclamation, to 

create a Council in the Bengal Division of 

the Presidency of Fort William for the purpose of assisting the 

Lieutenant-Governor in the executive government of the 

province, and by such proclamation 

(a) to make provision for determining what shall be the 
number (not exceeding four) and qualifications of the members 
of the Conncil ; and 

() to make provision for the appointment of temporary 
or acting members of the Council during the absence of any 
member from illness or otherwise, and for the procedure 
to be adopted in case of a difference of opinion between a 
Lieutenant-Governor and his Council, and in the case of 
equality of votes, and in the case of a Lieutenant-Governor 



2O4 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1 909. 

being obliged to absent himself from his Council from indis- 
position or any other cause. 

(2) It shall be lawful for the Governor-General in Council, 
with the like approval, by a like proclamation, to create a 
Council in any other province under a Lieutenant-Governor 
for the purpose of assisting the Lieutenant-Governor in the 
executive government of the province : Provided that before 
any such proclamation is made a draft thereof shall be laid 
before each House of Parliament for not less than sixty days 
during the session of Parliament, and, if before the expiration 
of that time an Address is presented to His Majesty by either 
House of Parliament against the draft or any part thereof, no 
further proceedings shall be taken thereon, without prejudice to 
the making of any new draft. 

(3) Where any such proclamation has been made with 
respect to any province the Lieutenant-Governor may, with 
the consent of the Governor-General in Council, from time 
to time make rules and orders for the more convenient 
transaction of business in his Council, and any order made or 
act done in accordance with the rules and orders so made shall 
be deemed to be an act or order of the Lieutenant-Governor in 
Council. 

(4) Every member of any such Council shall be appointed 
by the Governor-General, with the approval of His Majesty, 
and shall, as such be a member of the Legislative Council of 
the Lieutenant-Governor, in addition to the members nominated 
by the Lieutenant-Governor and elected under the provisions of 
this Act. 

4. The Governor-General, and the Governors of Fort Saint 
George and Bombay, and the Lieutenant- 
preridentsV"*"* f Vlce " Governor of every province respectively 
shall appoint a member of their respective 
councils to be Vice-President thereof, and, for the purpose of 
temporarily holding and executing the office of Governor- 
General or Governor of Fort Saint George or Bombay and of 
presiding at meetings of Council in the absence of the Governor- 
General, Governor, or Lieutenant-Governor, the Vice-President 
so appointed shall be deemed to be the senior member of 
Council and the member highest in rank, and the Indian 
Councils Act, 1861, and sections sixty-two and sixty- three of 
the Government of India Act, 1833, shall 
3 & 4 win. 4. c. 8 5 have efifect accor dingly. 



THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1909. 2O$ 

5. (i) Notwithstanding anything in the Indian Councils 
Act, 1 86 1, the Governor-General in Coun- 
Power to extend busi- cil, the Governors in Council of Fort Saint 
JMJ..IU* . George and Bombay respectively, and the 

Lieutenant-Governor or Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor in council of every province, shall make rules authorising 
at any meeting of their respective legislative councils the dis- 
cussion of the annual financial statement of the Governor-Gene- 
ral in Council or of their respective Local Governments, as the 
case may be, and of any matter of general public interest, and 
the asking of questions, under such conditions and restrictions 
as may be prescribed in the rules applicable to the several 
Councils. 

(2) Such rules as aforesaid may provide for the appoint- 
ment of a member of any such council to preside at any such 
discussion in the place of the Governor-General, Governor, or 
Lieutenant-Governor, as the case may be, and of any Vice- 
President. 

(3) Rules under this section, where made by a Governor in 
Council, or by a Lieutenant-Governor, or a Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor in Council, shall be subject to the sanction of the Governor- 
General in Council, and where made by the Governor-General 
in Council shall be subject to the sanction of the Secretary of 
State in Council, and shall not be subject to alteration or 
amendment by the Legislative Council of the Governor-Gene- 
ral, Governor, or Lieutenant-Governor. 

6. The Governor-General in Council shall, subject to the 

approval of the Secretary of State in Coun- 

tionT r r cil, make regulations as to the conditions 

under which and manner in which persons 

resident in India may be nominated or elected as members of 
the Legislative Councils of the Governor-General, Governors, 
and Lieutenant-Governors and as to the qualifications for being, 
and for being nominated or elected, a member of any such 
council, and as to any other matter for which regulations are 
authorised to be made under this Act, and also as to the man- 
ner in which those regulations are to be carried into effect. 
Regulations under this section shall not be subject to alteration 
or amendment by the Legislative-Council of the Governor- 
General. 



206 THE INDIAN COUNCILS ACT, 1909. 

7. All proclamations, regulations, and rules made under 
Laying of prodama- tiiis Act, other than rules made by a 
tions etc., before Pariia- Lieutenant-Governor for the more conveni- 
ent transaction of business in his Council, 
shall be laid before both Houses of Parliament as soon as may 
be after they are made. 

3. (i) This Act may be cited as the Indian Councils Act, 
1909, and shall be construed with the 
Indian Council Acts, 1861, and 1892, and 

those ActS) the Indian Councils Act, 1869, 
the Indian Councils Act, 1871, the Indian 
Councils Act, 1874, the Indian Councils Act, 1904, and this 
Act may be cited together as the Indian Councils Acts, 1861 
to 1909. 

(2) This Act shall come into operation on such date or 

dates as the Governor-General in Council, 
E&fV?. 26** c ' 9I ' 4 with the approval of the Secretary of State 

in Council, may appoint, and different 
dates may be appointed for different purposes and provisions 
of this Act and for different councils. 

On the date appointed for the coming into operation of 
this Act as respects any Legislative Council, all the nominated 
members of the Council then in office shall go out of office, but, 
may, if otherwise qualified, be renominated or be elected in 
accordance with the provisions of this Act. 

(3) The enactments mentioned in the Second Schedule to 
this Act are hereby repealed to the extent mentioned in the 
third column of that Schedule. 



SCHEDULES. 

FIRST SCHEDULE. 

Maximum Numbers of Nominated and Elected Members of Legislative 

Councils. 



Legislative Council. 



Maximum 
number. 



Legislative Council of the Governor-General 

Legislative Council of the Governor of Fort Saint George 

Legislative Council of the Governor of Bombay 

Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Bengal division 
of the Presidency of Fort William 

Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Pro- 
vinces of Agra and Oudh 

Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Provinces of 
Eastern Bengal and Assam 

Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of 
the Punjab 

Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of 
Burma 

Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of any Province 
which may hereafter be constituted 



60 
SO 
50 

50 
50 
50 
30 



SECOND SCHEDULE. 

Enactments repealed. 



Section and 
chapter. 



Short title. 



Extent of repeal. 



24 and 25 
Viet. C. 67. 



The Indian 
Councils 
Act. 1861. 



55 d 56 
Viet. c. 14 



The Indian 

Councils 
Act, 1892- 



In section ten, the words "not less than six nor more 
than twelve in number." 

In section eleven, the words "for the term of two 
years from the date of such nomination." 

In section fifteen, the words from "and the power of 
making laws and regulations" to "shall be present." 

In section twenty-nine, the words "not less than four 
nor more than eight in number." 

In section thirty, the words "for the term of two 
years from the date of such nomination." 

In section thirty-four, the words from " and the power 
of making laws and regulations," to "shall be pre- 
sent." 

In aection forty-five, the words from "and the power 

of making laws and regulations" to "shall be pre- 
sent." 

Sections one and two. 

In section four, the words "appointed under the said 
Act or this Act" and paragraph (2.) 



B. 

LORD MINTO'S MINUTE * OF AUGUST, 1906. 

I feel sure my colleagues will agree with me that Indian 
affairs and the methods of Indian administration have never 
attracted more public attention in India and at home than at 
the present moment. The reasons for their doing so are not 
far to seek. The growth of education, which British rule has 
done so much to encourage, is bearing fruit. Important classes 
of the population are learning to realise their own position, to 
estimate for themselves their own intellectual capacities, and 
to compare their claims for an equality of citizenship, with those 
of a ruling race, whilst the directing influences of political life 
at home are simultaneously in full accord with the advance of 
political thought in India. 

To what extent the people of India as a whole are as yet 
capable of serving in all branches of administration, to what 
extent they are individually entitled to a share in the political 
representation of the country, to what extent it may be possible 
to weld together the traditional sympathies and antipathies of 
many different races and different creeds, and to what extent 
the great hereditary rulers of Native states should assist to 
direct Imperial policy, are problems which the experience of 
future years can alone gradually solve. 

But we, the Government of India, cannot shut our eyes 
to present conditions. The political atmosphere is full of 
change, questions are before us which we cannot afford to 
ignore, and which we must attempt to answer, and to me it 
would appear all important that the initative should emanate 
from us, that the Government of India should not be put in 
the position of appearing to have its hands forced by agitation 
in this country or by pressure from home, that we should be 
the first to recognise surrounding conditions and to place before 
His Majesty's Government the opinions which personal ex- 
perience and a close touch with the everyday life of India 
entitled us to hold. 

This view I feel sure my colleagues share with me. MR. 
MORLEY cordially approves it, and in pursuance of it announced, 
on my authority, in his recent Budget speech my intention of 

* Being an extract from the Proceedings of the Legislative Council of the 
Governor-General, dated the afth of January, 1910. 



LORD MINTO'S MINUTE OF AUGUST, 1906. 209 

appointing a Committee from the Viceroy's Council to consider 
the question of possible reforms. 

Such enquiries have, as you are aware, taken place before. 
There was the Commission, over which SIR CHARLES AITCHISON 
presided, to enquire into the employment of Indians in the 
public services, and we have also the notable report of the 
committee appointed by LORD DUFFERIN to consider proposals 
for the reconstruction of Legislative Councils on a representative 
basis (1888), over which SIR GEORGE CHESNEV presided, and 
of which the present LORD MACDONNELL was secretary. It is 
curious to see from that report how similar conditions and 
arguments were then to what they are now ; with one great 
exception that we have now to deal with a further growth of 
nearly twenty years of increasing political aspirations. 

But though increased representation is still the popular 
cry as it was in 1888, other demands or rather suggestions are 
shaping themselves out of a foreshadowed metamorphosis. 
We are told of a Council of Princes, of an Indian Member of 
the Viceroy's Executive Council, of an Indian Member on the 
Secretary of State's Council, and in addition to the older claims 
put forward on behalf of increased representation on the 
Legislative Councils, we are asked to consider new procedure 
as to presentation of the Budget to the Viceroy's Legislative 
Council, a prolongation of the Budget Debate, and further 
opportunity for financial discussion. As to possibilities such 
as these, I would be grateful for the opinion of the Committee 
I hope to appoint, limiting myself for the present to only one 
opinion that in any proposal for the increase of representation 
it is absolutely necessary to guard the important interests 
existing in the country, as expressed in paragraph 7, page 3, 
of the Report of SIR CHARLES AITCHISON'S Committee, viz., 

(a) the interests of the hereditary nobility and landed classes who 
have a great permanent stake in the country ; 

() the interests of the trading, professional and agricultural classes ; 
(c) the interests of the planting and commercial European com- 
munity ; and 

(d} the interests of stable and effective administration. 

The subjects I should propose to refer to the Committee 
are : 

(a) A Council of Princes, and if this is not possible, might they be 
represented on the Viceroy's Legislative Council ? 

27 



2io LORD MINTO'S SPEECH, 1907, 

(b) An Indian Member of the Viceroy's Council. 

(c) Increased representation on the Legislative Council of the Viceroy 
and of Local Governments. 

(d) Prolongation of the Budget Debate. Procedure as to presenta- 
tion of the Budget and powers of moving amendments. 

'This Minute is circulated for the information of Members 
of Council from whom I shall be glad to receive any suggestions 
or expressions of opinion which they may desire to make, and 
which will be communicated to the Committee. 

'When the Committee has reported, their Report will be 
laid before Council for full consideration.' 



C. 

EXTRACTS FROM LORD MINTO'S SPEECH TO THE IM- 
PERIAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL ON THE 2/th MARCH, 1907. 

The HON'BLE MR. GOKHALE tempts me to foreshadow the 
future. I am afraid at present I can only do so faintly. I 
recognise with him that politically India is in a transition state, 
that new and just aspirations are springing up amongst its 
people, which the ruling power must be prepared not only to 
meet but to assist. A change is rapidly passing over the land, 
and we cannot afford to dally. And to my mind nothing would 
be more unfortunate for India than that the Government of 
India should fail to recognise the signs of the times. I have 
deemed it all important that the initiative of possible reforms 
should emanate from us. I have felt that nothing would be 
more mischievous to British Administration in India in the 
future than a belief that its Government had acted on no convic- 
tion of their own, but simply in submission to agitation in this 
country and in accordance with instructions conveyed to them 
from home. If there has been misconception as to this, I hope 
I may be allowed this opportunity of correcting it. The story 
as far as I can tell it at present is simply this : that last 
autumn I appointed a committee of my Council to consider the 
possibility of a development of administrative machinery in 
accordance with the new conditions we were called upon to 
face. The committee's report was considered by my Council, 
and a despatch expressing the views of my colleagues and 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, IQO/. 211 

myself has been forwarded to the Secretary of State. What I 
would impress upon you is that this move in advance has 
emanated entirely from the Government of India, and that we 
are justly entitled to deny any accusation of an 'inadequate 
appreciation of the realities of the present situation.' 



D. 

CIRCULAR FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA TO THE 
LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND ADMINISTRATIONS, DATED SIMLA, 
THE 24th AUGUST, 1907. 

In a speech addressed to the Legislative Council on 
the 27th March last His Excellency the Viceroy announced 
that with the object of satisfying the constitutional require- 
ments of the Indian Empire, the Government of India had of 
their own initiative taken into consideration the question of 
giving the people of India wider opportunities of expressing 
their views on administrative matters. The Secretary of State 
for India has since intimated in his speech in the House of 
Commons on the Indian Budget that His Majesty's Govern- 
ment have examined the proposals submitted to them by the 
Government of India, and have authorised the Governor- 
General in Council to consult Local Governments and invite 
public opinion on this important subject. 

2. It is now 20 years since LORD DUFFERIN'S Government 
initiated the discussions which resulted in the passing of the 
Councils Act of 1892. The reforms then introduced, comprising 
the enlargement of the Legislative Councils, the recognition 
of the elective principle, the admission of interpellations and 
the free discussion of the Budget, were held to be justified by 
the spread of English education, by the increased employment 
of natives of India in the actual administration of the country 
and by the indubitable proof which they had given of their 
intellectual fitness for such employment. The extent of the 
advance that has since taken place in the development of the 
educated classes can hardly be judged by statistical tests. But 
it may be mentioned that within the last 20 years the number 
of scholars studying English has risen from 298,000 to 505,000 ; 
whilst the number of students passing the annual Matriculation 
Examination of the Indian Universities has increased from 



212 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 

4,286 in 1886 to 8,211 in 1905, and the number of Bachelors of 
Arts from 708 in the former year to 1,570 in the latter. During 
this period higher education has penetrated to circles which a 
generation ago had hardly been affected by its influence. The 
ruling chiefs and the landholding and commercial classes, 
possessing a material stake in the country, and representing 
the most powerful and stable elements of Indian society, have 
now become qualified to take a more prominent part in public 
life, and to render a larger measure of assistance to the Exe- 
cutive Governmet. They no longer stand aloof from the new 
social and political conditions which affect the course of Indian 
affairs ; they have profited greatly by the educational advantages 
offered to them under British rule ; and they are anxious to 
be afforded an opportunity of expressing their views on matters 
of practical administration. No scheme of constitutional reform 
would meet the real requirements of the present time which 
did not make adequate provision for representing the landed 
aristocracy of India, the mercantile and industrial classes, and 
the great body of moderate men who, under existing conditions, 
have no sufficient inducement to enter political life, and find 
but little scope for the exercise of their legitimate influence. 
For the present at any rate the needs and sentiments of the 
masses of the people must find expression through those, 
whether officials or non-officials, who are acquainted with their 
daily life and are qualified to speak with authority on their 
behalf. Nor does the scheme now put forward contemplate 
any surrender or weakening of paramount British power in 
India upon which depend the safety and welfare of the vast 
populations there committed to it. Subject to this essential 
condition, that the Executive authority of the Government is 
maintained in undiminished strength, the Government of India 
believe that the proposals outlined below represent a consider- 
able advance in the direction of bringing all classes of the 
people into closer relations with the Government and its 
officers, and of increasing their opportunities of making known 
their feelings and wishes in respect of administrative and legis- 
lative questions. The classes which will be enabled, under the 
present scheme, to take a more effective part in shaping the 
action of Government, may reasonably look forward, as the 
necessary outcome of the measures now in contemplation, to a 
larger share in the actual work of administration and more 
extensive employment in the higher offices of the State. The 
Government of India recognise the essential justice of the 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 213 

claim that is put forward, and they are convinced that it is 
possible, without neglecting the other interests and obligations 
involved, to move gradually forward towards the fulfilment, in 
no grudging spirit, of a pledge which the peoples of India are 
entitled to regard as inviolable. 

3. The Governor-General in Council has been much 
struck by the difficulty encountered by the Governments in India 
in making their measures and motives generally understood, 
and in correcting erroneous and often mischievous statements 
of fact or purpose imputed to them. When the right of inter- 
pellation was granted by the Indian Councils Act of 1892 to 
the Legislative Councils, it was hoped that by that means 
correct information on public affairs might be more widely 
diffused. The Legislative Councils, however, are called to- 
gether only when there is legislation to be undertaken, their 
meetings are too infrequent to offer the means of confiden- 
tial and intimate consultation between Government and its 
subjects, and the strict procedure by which they are restrained 
naturally tends to formality. A means for this free and close 
consultation might be supplied by Advisory Councils of the 
type explained below, and in the opinion of the Government 
of India their organisation should be undertaken with this as a 
principal object in view. 

An Imperial Advisory Council. 

4. All Indian Governments, and all administrative officers 
in their respective positions, have made it their business to 
elicit the opinions on administrative measures and proposals 
for action of those qualified to advise them in all ranks of 
society ; and this process will, of course, continue. Such advice 
and opinion as are thus obtained are the indispensible found- 
ation upon which good administration is built up, and the 
regular consultation of persons qualified to give them is part 
of the necessary procedure of Government. It has, however, 
long been felt that considerable advantages might be expected 
from any measures which, without impeding the free action of 
the Executive Government of India in the general conduct of 
affairs, would in some degree associate the great Ruling 
Chiefs and the territorial magnates of British India with the 
Governor-General in the guardianship of common and Im- 
perial interests. The realisation of this idea has now been 
rendered more practicable by the closer conformity of the 
general principles and methods of administration in the more 



214 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1 907. 

advanced Native States to those followed in British territory, 
and by the fact that common interests have arisen, and that 
certain measures, such as famine relief or education, may from 
time to time affect their own subjects and dominions, calling 
for co-operation between the States and the British Govern- 
ment. A measure of the kind contemplated would thus to some 
extent satisfy a growing want in India. It would give a 
greater sense of responsibility to those whose advice is 
sought on questions submitted to them, and it would at the same 
time commend itself to public opinion as tending to promote 
more intimate relations between the component parts of the 
Indian Empire. The establishment and recognition of a de- 
terminate body of advisers, who, while requiring no legislative 
recognition, and possessing in themselves no formal powers of 
initiative, would be consulted individually by the Governor- 
General, and would occasionally be called together, either in 
whole or in part, for the purpose of collective deliberation, and 
would be entitled, when so summoned, to offer their counsel 
on matters affecting the welfare of the people, would, in the 
opinion of the Government of India, be a marked step in cons- 
titutional progress. It would maintain unimpaired the au- 
thority and responsibility of the executive government, and it 
would be in accordance with the best traditions of oriental 
polity. These have always recognised that the Sovereign, 
however absolute, should make it his business to consult com- 
petent advisers, and should exercise his rule in accordance 
with what, after such consultation, he deems to be the best 
mind of his people. The scheme would thus be no innovation 
in principle (as are some applications of Western methods to 
Eastern society), and if judiciously applied would, by evoking 
the stable forces fundamentally so strong in India, lend valu- 
able aid to the orderly working of Government. For this 
purpose, what appears to be needed is an Imperial Advisory 
Council of sufficient size and weight to represent the views of 
the hereditary leaders of the people, both in British India and 
in the principal Native States, to be consulted by the Governor- 
General either individually or collectively or by means of 
committees appointed from among their number, on questions 
of sufficient moment to call for their advice, and to be used 
by him not only to draw out opinion on measures in contem- 
plation, but also what is hardly less important as an agency 
for the diffusion of correct information upon the acts, inten- 
tions, and objects of Government. 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 215 

5. It seems to the Government of India that the purposes 
which they have in view might possibly be attained somewhat 
on the lines of the following proposals : 

(i) That a Council to be called "The Imperial Advisory Council " 
should be formed for purely consultative purposes. 

(2} That all the members should be appointed by the Viceroy and 
should receive the title of '* Imperial Councillors." 

(3) That the Council should consist of about sixty Members for 

the whole of India, including about twenty Ruling Chiefs, and 
a suitable number of the territorial magnates of every pro- 
vince where landholders of sufficient dignity and status are to 
be found. 

(4) That the Members should hold office for a substantial term, 

say for five years, and should be eligible for re-appointment. 

(5) That the Council should receive no legislative recognition, and 

should not be vested with formal powers of any sort. 

(6) That its functions should be purely advisory, and that it should 

deal only with such matters as might be specifically referred 
to it from time to time. 

(7) That the proceedings of the Council, when called together 

for collective consultation, should, as a rule, be private, in- 
formal and confidential, and they would not be published, 
although Government would be at liberty to make any use 
of them that it thought proper. The Government of India 
believe that only confidential communications will secure 
frank interchange of opinion, but they are disposed to think 
that it might be advisable, after matters had been threshed 
out in confidential consultation, to provide for some public 
conferences at any rate on those occasions when the Govern- 
ment desires to make its motives and intentions better known, 
to correct misstatements, and to remove erroneous impres- 
sions. 

Provincial Advisory Councils. 

6. The main work of Indian administration, however, is 
carried on by the various Provincial Governments, and it appears 
to the Governor-General in Council desirable that these 
should, in like manner, when the local conditions admit, be fur- 
nished with a selected body of advisers, chosen upon a wider 
basis, whom it should be understood that they would consult 
upon all measures of importance affecting the populations 
committed to their charge. The constitution proposed for the 
Imperial Advisory Council provides for the appointment of 
members chosen with reference to their status and influence 
from each of the Provinces of British India. These provincial 



2*6 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1 907. 

members of the Imperial Council, representing as a rule the 
great landholders of the province to which they belong, might, 
it is thought, with advantage form the nucleus of a Provincial 
Advisory Council which would discharge in respect of provin- 
cial questions consultative functions similar to those entrusted 
to the members of the Imperial Council. The Provincial 
Councils would be of smaller size than the Imperial Council, 
but their membership should be large enough to embrace all 
interests of sufficient importance to claim representation on 
such a body. The great landholders would be represented by 
the Imperial Advisory Councillors, but it is essential that the 
smaller landholders, industry, commerce, capital, and the pro- 
fessional classes should also be included in the Council ; while 
the association of non-official Europeans, standing for these 
important interests, with the natural leaders of Indian society 
in common consultation on matters of public importance would 
tend to promote a better understanding, and to clear away on 
both sides injurious prejudices and misconceptions. The 
number required for this purpose might be made up by adding 
to the Imperial Advisory Councillors, who as stated above 
would represent the landholders, representatives of other im- 
portant provincial interests who would be nominated for the 
Viceroy's approval by the head of the Local Government. 
Each local Government should be at liberty to consult its 
Advisory Council either individually or collectively in regard 
to any provincial question. In the former case they would 
be consulted by letter, and would submit their views in writing. 
In the latter case they would be specially called together by 
the head of the province and would tender a collective opinion. 
On such occasions the head of the Government himself, or 
some high official deputed by him for the purpose, would 
preside over their deliberations, and the conclusions arrived at 
would be recorded by one of the Secretaries to Government, 
who would attend the meeting for the purpose of furnishing 
such information as might be required regarding the matters 
under discussion. The Government of India attach the high- 
est importance to collective deliberation, since the opinions 
thus obtained are different from and frequently more valuable 
than those elicited by individual consultation. 

7. It will be observed that these Advisory Councils are 
intended to be entirely distinct from the Legislative bodies, 
whose powers are defined by Statute, and whose functions are 
restricted to dealing with measures of legislation laid before 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, IQO/. 217 

them, to discussing the Budget, and to approaching the Gov- 
ernment on matters of administration by means of formal 
interpellations. It may, of course, happen that members of 
the Advisory Councils may sit on the Legislative Council, 
either of the Governor-General or of the Local Government. 
In their capacity of advisers they will be consulted both on 
matters on which no legislation is contemplated, and on 
measures which may eventually assume legislative shape, but 
the principles and scope of which call for enquiry and deli- 
beration before they are cast into the form of an enactment. 
This is, in fact, the process now followed ; and the object of the 
Government of India, in proposing the constitution of tne new 
advisory bodies, is to give clearer definition and continuity 
to methods already partially and occasionally adopted. 



Enlargement of the Legislative Councils. 

8. As long ago as May 1889 LORD LANSDOWNE'S 
Government expressed their opinion 

(a] That the opportunities accorded to the Legislative Council of 

tho Governor-General for passing under review the financial 
situation of the country should occur with regularity and in- 
dependently of the necessity of financial legislation in any 
particular years ; and 

(b) That members of the Council ought to have, under proper 

safeguards, the right of addressing questions to the Govern- 
ment on matters of public interest. 

They considered it desirable to extend these two changes 
of procedure to the provincial Legislative Councils, and they 
suggested that any changes in the law which might prove to 
be necessary for this purpose, and in order to enlarge the size 
and extend the functions of the Councils, should be simul- 
taneously effected both for the Legislative Council of the 
Governor-General and for the provincial Legislative Councils. 
The discussion thus initiated resulted in the passing of the 
Indian Councils Act of 1892. In forwarding a copy of that 
Act to the Government of India, the Secretary of State re- 
ferred brietly to the beneficial results of the Indian Councils 
Act of 1 86 1, and to the general considerations which justified 
the enlargement of the Legislative Councils, and drew atten- 
28 



2l8 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 

tion to the provision authorising the Governor-General in 
Council, with the approval of the Secretary of State, to make 
regulations as to the conditions under which nominations of 
additional members should be made and to prescribe the 
manner in which those regulations should be carried into effect. 
He observed that the spread of education and enlightened 
public spirit, and the recent organisation of local self-govern- 
ment, might render it possible to give representation to the 
views of different races, classes, and localities through the 
medium of corporations vested with definite powers upon a 
recognised administrative basis, or of associations formed upon 
a substantial community of legitimate interests, professional, 
commercial, and territorial. 

9. When the Councils were thus enlarged and the elec- 
tive principle was introduced, it was recognised that terri- 
torial representation was unsuited to India, but an endeavour 
was made to constitute the electorates so that all the more 
important classes and interests should, as far as possible, be 
represented. In the case of provincial Councils it is admitted 
that the results have not justified the expectations formed. 
The District Boards in particular have conspicuously failed 
to fulfil the expectation that they would represent the landed 
interest. Out of 54 members elected by them to the provincial 
Councils, only 10 have been land-holders, while 36 have been 
barristers and pleaders. Similarly, out of 43 members elected 
by the District Municipalities, 40 have been barristers or 
pleaders and only two landholders. Something has been done 
by nomination to remedy these defects ; but of the 338 non- 
official members who have been appointed, whether by elec- 
tion or by nomination, to the provincial Councils since elec- 
tion was introduced in 1893, as rnany as 123 or 36 per cent, 
have been lawyers and only 77 or 22 per cent, landowners. It is 
thus apparent that the elective system has given to the legal pro- 
fession a prominence in the provincial Councils to which it is not 
entitled, while it has signally failed to represent other important 
elements of the community. These shortcomings are reflected 
in the Legislative Council of the Governor-General, where of 
the non-official members nominated or elected since 1893, 27 or 
40 per cent, have been lawyers or school masters, while the 
landholders have numbered only 16 or 23*5 per cent, and the 
mercantile community has been represented by 17 or 25 per 
cent. The Government of India are far from denying that 
the professional classes are entitled to a share of represent- 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 2IQ 

ation proportioned not merely to their numbers, which are 
small, but to their influence, which is large and tends conti- 
nually to increase. But they are not prepared to allow them a 
virtual monopoly of the power exercised by the Councils, and 
they believe that the soundest solution of the problem is to be 
found in supplying the requisite counterpoise to their ex- 
cessive influence' by creating an additional electorate recruited 
from the landed and monied classes. 

10. It is the desire of the Governor-General in Council 
that the Legislative Councils in India should now be enlarged 
to the fullest extent compatible with the necessary authority 
of the Government. He desires, moreover, that these bodies 
should be so constituted in respect of non-official members as 
to give due and ample representation to the different classes 
and interests of the community. In carrying out this system, 
which the Government of India agree with LORD LANSDOWNE'S 
Government in regarding as the only one in any way appli- 
cable to Indian conditions, they consider it essential that the 
Government should always be able to reckon on a numerical 
majority, and that this majority should be strong enough to be 
independent of the minor fluctuations that may be caused by 
the occasional absence of an official member. The principle 
of a standing majority is accepted by the Government as an 
entirely legitimate and necessary consequence of the nature of 
the paramount power in India, and so far as they know it has 
never been disputed by any section of Indian opinion that does 
not dispute the legitimacy of the paramount power itself. 
That is not an open question, and if two men are not able to 
wield one sceptre, it is idle to dissemble that fact in cons- 
tructing political machinery. The question then arises what 
number of official members of the requisite standing and ex- 
perience can, without detriment to the public service, be spared 
from their regular duties for attendance in Legislative Coun- 
cils ? The enlargement of the Councils is certain to add con- 
siderably to protraction of debate, thus entailing larger calls 
upon the time of their members. The necessity of maintaining 
an official majority thus implies the necessity of limiting the 
number of non-official members ; and the problem which faces 
the Government of India now, as it faced LORD LANSDOWNE'S 
Government fifteen years ago, is how to provide for the due 
representation, within the narrow limits thus imposed, of the 
vast diversity of classes, races, and interests in the Indian 
Empire. 



220 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 

The Imperial Legislative Council. 

11. The most logical and convenient mode of dealing 
with the question would have been first to discuss and settle the 
composition of the electorates, and the powers of the provincial 
Legislative Councils and then to build up on the basis of these 
materials a revised constitution for the Imperial Council. That 
was the procedure followed with great care and thoroughness 
by LORD LANSDOWNE'S Government in the years 1889 to 1893 
when no single step was taken without the amplest consultation 
with the provincial Governments. It may no doubt be said 
that the scheme set forth below for the enlargement of the 
Imperial Legislative Council will afford a convenient model 
for the guidance of the Local Governments in framing their 
own proposals. This statement, however, is true only to a 
limited extent. From the nature of the case that scheme makes 
no provision for the representation of the Municipalities and 
District Boards, the Universities, the Presidency Corporations, 
the Trades Associations, the European planting and industrial 
interests and Indian Commerce, so that in respect of these 
essential elements of the provincial Councils it can hardly be 
said to afford sufficient guidance to Local Governments. The 
constitution of the Imperial Legislative Council is in fact so 
closely bound up with that of the provincial Councils, by which 
a certain proportion of its members are elected, that it is almost 
impossible to formulate final proposals for the one without 
having first determined the character of the other. It must 
be understood, therefore, that the scheme set forth below for 
the enlargement of the Legislative Council of the Governor- 
General is intended to be entirely provisional and suggestive, 
that it indicates only the main lines upon which, in the 
unaided judgment of the Government of India, the extension 
of the Council might be effected, and that they reserve to 
themselves the fullest discretion to modify their proposals in 
the light of the comments and criticisms which those proposals 
may elicit from the local Governments and the public. 

12. With these introductory remarks the Government of 
India pass on to consider how the principle of the represent- 
ation of classes and interests can be given effect to in the 
Governor General's Legislative Council. They suggest that 
the Council might in future be constituted on the following 
lines : 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 221 

(1) The maximum strength of the Council might be 53, or, 

including the Viceroy, 54. 

(2) This number might be made up thus 

A. Ex-officio, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal (or of 
the Punjab when the Council assembles in Simla), 
the Commander-in- Chief, and the Members of 
Executive Council ... ... ... 8 

B. Additional officials to be nominated, not exceeding ... 20 
C. A Ruling Chief to be nominated by the Viceroy ... I 

D. Elected members 

(a) By the Chambers of Commerce of Calcutta and 

Bombay ... ... ... 2 

(t>) By the non-official members of the Provincial 
Councils of Madras, Bombay, Bengal, Eastern 
Bengal and Assam, the United Provinces, the 
Punjab and Burma ... ... ... 7 

(c) By the nobles and the great landowners of Madras, 

Bombay, Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, 
the United Provinces, the Punjab, and the Cen- 
tral Provinces ... ... ... ... 7 

(d) By Mahomedans ... ... ... 2 

E. Non-officials nominated by the Viceroy to represent 
minorities or special interests, not less than two 
to be Mahomedans ... ... ... 4 

F. Experts to be nominated by the Viceroy, when nece- 
ssary, for special purposes ... ... ... 2 

Total ... 53 
or, including His Excellency the Viceroy ... 54 



13. Under the present system four additional members 
are elected by the non-official members of the Councils of 
Bombay, Madras, Bengal, and the United Provinces. The 
Government of India propose to raise the number to seven 
by extending the privilege of election to the non-official 
members of the Councils of Eastern Bengal and Assam, the 
Punjab, and Burma. The number of non-official members 
of such Councils will no doubt be materially increased. This 
will remove the objections which have been taken to entrusting 
the privilege of election to so important a post as that of 



222 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 

member of the Viceroy's Council to an electorate consisting of 
only about ten persons. 

14. The Government of India are impressed with the 
necessity for giving substantial representation to the great 
landholders, who not only constitute the aristocratic and stable 
elements in Indian society, but also represent the interests of 
the landlords, great and small. For the purpose of securing 
the adequate representation of this class, it has been suggested 
that a list of electors should be formed in each province, and 
that they should be required to elect direct. The precise 
details of the electorate will require careful consideration, and 
they will necessarily vary with the circumstances of each 
province, but the general idea is that a provincial electorate 
varying in size from one hundred to one hundred and fifty 
should be aimed at, and that the amount of land revenue giving 
the right to vote should not be less than Rs. io,ooo/- a year. 
The exact limit to be fixed must, of course, depend on the 
status of the landholders in the province concerned. In every 
case it would be made a condition that the member elected to 
represent this class must himself belong to it. Owing to the 
peculiar conditions of Burma, where there are no large land- 
owners outside the primitive Shan States, that province would 
be excluded from this category. 

1 5. The question may be raised whether a satisfactory 
constituency for the purpose of electing a member of the 
Imperial Legislative Council can be formed by massing together 
for voting purposes the entire body of landholders in so large 
and in many respects so heterogeneous an area as an entire 
province. It may be thought that an electorate thus consti- 
tuted would be wanting in solidarity, that it would be apt to 
fall into the hands of wirepullers, and that by reason of the in- 
congruous elements which it comprised, it might fail to choose 
a suitable representative on the Imperial Council. On this 
point, therefore, the Governor-General in Council reserves 
judgment until he is in possession of the views of local Govern- 
ments. As an alternative solution the suggestion has been 
made that a representative of the landholders should be elected 
to the Imperial Council by the landholding members of the 
provincial Council either from among their own number, or 
from among landholders paying the amount of land revenue 
that may be fixed as giving the right to vote for or to be a 
member of the provincial Council. It is also a matter for 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 22$ 

consideration whether in some provinces representatives of this 
class, whether on the provincial or on the Imperial Council, 
cannot be better obtained by a system of nomination. 

16. The last point that remains for consideration under 
this head relates to the representation of special interests and 
minorities, and in particular of the Mahomedan community 
In this connection I am to invite attention to the observations 
made by His Excellency the Viceroy in reply to the address 
presented to him by a large and representative deputation on 
the ist October 1906. The Government of India concur with 
the presenters of the address that neither on the Provincial nor 
in the Imperial Legislative Councils has the Mahomedan com- 
munity hitherto received a measure of representation com- 
mensurate with its numbers and political and historical 
importance, and they desire to lay stress upon His Excellency's 
observation that "any electoral representation in India would 
be doomed to mischievous failure which aimed at granting a 
personal enfranchisement regardless of the beliefs and traditions 
of the communities composing the population of this continent." 
Under the system of election hitherto in force, Hindus largely 
predominate in all or almost all the electorates, with the result 
that comparatively few Mahomedan members have been elected. 
These have been supplemented by nominations made by 
Government. But the total representation thus effected has 
not been commensurate with the weight to which the Mahom- 
medan community is entitled ; and it has, moreover, been 
strongly urged that even the system of nomination has frequent- 
ly failed to secure the appointment of Mahomedans of the 
class by whom the community desires to be represented. 

17. The Government of India suggest, therefore, for the 
consideration of local Governments, the adoption of the following 
measures : Firstly, in addition to the small number of Maho- 
medans who may be able to secure election in the ordinary 
manner, it seems desirable in each of the Councils to assign a 
certain number of seats to be filled exclusively by Mahomedans. 
Secondly, for the purpose of filling the latter, or a proportion 
of them, a special Mahomedan electorate might be constituted 
consisting of the following classes : 

(i) All who pay land revenue in excess of a certain amount. The 
figure need not be the same in each province ; but should in all cases be 
sufficiently low to embrace the great body of substantial landholders. 



224 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 

(2) All payers of income tax. This would comprise the trading and 
professional classes, with incomes exceeding Rs 1,000 a year. 

(3) All registered graduates of an Indian University of more than 
say, five year's standing. 

The electoral lists would be prepared on a district basis, 
and the distribution of seats would be settled by the local 
Governments. It would not be necessary, however, to throw 
open all the seats to election. Indian gentlemen of position 
sometimes refuse to offer themselves as candidates to a wide 
electorate, partly because they dislike canvassing, and partly 
by reason of their reluctance to risk the indignity of being 
defeated by a rival candidate of inferior social status. For 
these reasons it would probably be advisable to reserve a propor- 
tion of the seats to be filled, as at present, by nomination. 

1 8. In the case of the Governor-General's Council, it has 
been suggested that of the four seats which the Government of 
India have proposed to set apart for Mahomedans, two should 
be filled by nomination by the Viceroy. For the other two 
election by the following provinces in rotation, viz., Bengal, 
Eastern Bengal and Assam, the United Provinces, Punjab, 
Bombay and Madras, is suggested. In Burma and the Central 
Provinces the proportion of Mahomedans is not large enough to 
entitle them to special representation. The composition of the 
electorate in the six provinces mentioned above formed the 
subject of representations by some prominent members of the 
Mahomedan deputation which waited upon His Excellency the 
Viceroy in October 1906. They proposed that the electorate 
should be constituted as follows : 

(a) The Mahomedan non-official members of the Provincial Councils 
as ultimately expanded. 

(b) The Mahomedan Fellows of the local University, where one 
exists. 

(c) Mahomedans paying income-tax upon an annual income of 
Rs 25,ooo/-, or paying an amount of land revenue to be determined for 
each province separately, which will indicate a corresponding income. 

The Government of India apprehend that some difficulty 
may be experienced in compiling a list of voters under the 
last of these heads, but this is a matter on which they will be 
guided by the opinion of local Governments. Should it be 
found impracticable to compile a register of voters under 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 225 

(f), then they are disposed to think that the electorate should 
be confined to the Mahomedan non-official members of the 
Provincial Councils. This proposal is open to the objection 
that the number of electors will be small ; but it has the merit 
of being uniform with the system under which the other non- 
official members are elected by the members of the Provincial 
Councils. 

19. Of the four seats provided for the nomination of non- 
officials under head E, two would be reserved for Mahomedans, 
to whom not less than four seats in the Governor-General's 
Council would thus be definitely appropriated. In as much as 
in two of the seven provinces with Legislative Councils, namely, 
Eastern Bengal and Assam and the Punjab, the followers of 
this religion constitute a majority of the population, it seems 
possible that a certain number of Mahomedans may also be 
returned to the Council under subhead (b) of head D. 

The Provincial Legislative Councils. 

20. The foregoing scheme for the Imperial Legislative 
Council necessarily omits several elements which may form 
part of the Provincial Councils. Having regard to the wide 
variety of conditions in different parts of India, it is impro- 
bable that any one scheme will prove to be equally adapted 
to all Provinces. For instance, the principle of having recourse 
to election may be distasteful to the landed classes in some 
Provinces, while in others, where it has become familiar, it may 
be accepted without objection. The general principle to be 
borne in mind is, as already stated, that the widest represent- 
ation should be given to classes, races, and interests, subject to 
the condition that an official majority must be maintained. 

21. At present the larger number of the elected members 
of the Provincial Councils, who again constitute the majority 
of the electorate for the Imperial Council, are chosen by Mu- 
nicipalities and District Boards. The Government of India 
have examined the franchises which have been framed for these 
bodies and they find that the qualifications required both for 
electors and for candidates are extraordinarily low. Thus, in 
all but three of the Mufassil towns of Bengal, anyone who 
pays Rs. 1-8 a year in rates is entitled to vote in the election 
of Municipal Commissioners, and is himself eligible for member- 
ship, not only of the Municipal Committee, but also of the 

29 



226 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, 1907. 

Provincial Legislative Council ; while any one who pays Re. i 
a year as road cess may take part in the elections for the Local 
Boards, who in their turn elect the members of the District 
Boards. This is the franchise upon which the election of 
the Bengal members, not only of the Province, but also in 
large degree of the Imperial Council, rests ultimately, though 
not immediately. And in the other provinces the qualifications 
are of much the same order of magnitude. These franchises 
were primarily devised with a view not to election of Councils, 
but to the management of local affairs ; and their unsuitability 
as a foundation for the election of legislators seems to have 
escaped notice in 1893. The Government of India do not 
propose to withdraw from District Boards and Municipalities 
the privilege of election to the Provincial Councils which they 
have enjoyed for the last 14 years. But it does not follow 
that the present system of voting must be maintained 
unchanged, and a solution might, perhaps, be arrived at by 
introducing special qualifications for members of Council while 
leaving the electoral franchise in other respects unchanged. 

22. It would be well also to consider whether, in view 
of the constitution of Indian society, it would not be advisable 
to introduce some such system for the representation of classes 
now liable to be crowded out by any predominant section of 
the population, as has already been admitted to be necessary 
in the case of Mahomedans. The Government of India do not 
wish to impose upon Provincial Governments any special line 
of action in making proposals with this object, but they desire 
to draw attention to the following scheme which has been 
suggested to them for the due representation of classes in local 
Councils and Boards: 

(a) The local Government shall determine how many seats are to 

be filled by elected representatives of the most important 
classes into which the population of the province is divided 
by race, caste, or religion and shall allot these seats to the 
several classes. 

(b) For the election of representatives of each class the Local 

Governments shall publish a list of voters consisting of mem- 
bers of that class who have held or are holding office in the 
Municipal or Local Boards, supplemented by others whom 
the Government may nominate after consultation with the 
anjumans, panchayats or other bodies who have been cons- 
tituted by the class in question for the direction of its own 
affairs. 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR, IQO/. 227 

(c) As the constitutions of the Provincial Councils must largely 
depend upon the Municipal and Local Boards, it is suggested 
that Local Governments should introduce into their systems 
of election and nomination for these Boards, the principle of 
assigning a fixed proportion of seats to each of the leading 
classes into which the population is divided by race, caste, 
or religion and permitting the members of that class to select 
its own representative. In the Municipalities of Rangoon 
and Mandalay and to a limited extent in certain Municipalities 
in the United Provinces this principle of class representation 
has been adopted with successful results. In the case of dis- 
trict and local Boards it might perhaps be possible to dis- 
tribute the seats to be filled by election among groups en- 
gaged in the same occupation, such as landholders, culti- 
vators, traders and professional men and to select certain 
castes as representing each group. The members of those 
castes who paid a certain sum in taxes or possessed certain 
property qualifications might then be empowerd to elect one 
of their own number to represent the occupational group on 
the Board. Suppose, for example, that in a particular area 
eight members had to be elected to serve on the local Board, 
four seats might be alloted to the Mahomedans and the re- 
maining four distributed among the Hindus, so that one seat 
should be given to the landholders, one to the traders, one to 
the cultivators and one to the professional classes. The 
census statistics supplemented by local enquiries would afford 
the means of determining what castes should be selected for 
the purpose of electing a member for each of these groups, 
and only persons belonging to those castes and having cer- 
tain property qualifications would be entitled to vote in the 
electoral group to which their caste had been assigned and to 
elect a representative from one of the castes so assigned. 
It seems piobable that by some plan of this kind the voting 
power might be distributed over a wider circle than at present, 
and would be less liable to become concentrated in the hands 
of a single section of the community. 

Discussion of the Budget in the Legislative Council. 

23. The discursive and unfruitful character of the Budget 
debates, both in the Imperial and Provincial Councils, has on 
many occasions formed the subject of comment and criticism. 
The Government of India entirely recognise the defects of the 
practice which prevails under the existing regulations, and they 
are anxious to introduce such changes as will make the 
debates less unreal and will bring them into closer relation 
with the financial policy and administrative decisions of the 
Government. To this end they propose that the Budget 
should be discussed, in the first instance, by separate heads, or 



228 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIRCULAR 1907. 

groups of heads, which would be explained severally by the 
member in administrative charge, this discussion being followed 
by a general debate in which members would enjoy the same 
freedom as at present of criticising the administration. This 
change would evidently involve an extension of the time now 
allotted to the discussion, and it would afford a far better 
opportunity for systematic criticism than exists under present 
arrangements. These compel a member of Council to include 
within the limits of a single speech all the observations that he 
has to offer on any of the numerous subjects that naturally 
present themselves in an annual review of the administration of 
the revenues of India. Remarks made in the course of the 
ampler and more practical discussion which is now contemplated 
would be borne in mind by the Government of India or the 
local Government when making financial arrangements in 
subsequent years, and it might perhaps on occasion be found 
possible to alter the Budget actually under review. 

24. These are the provisional and tentative proposals 
which, with the approval of His Majesty's Government, the 
Governor-General in Council now lays before the Governor 
General in Council (His Honour the Lieutenant Governor or you) 
in the fullest confidence that they will receive the careful 
scrutiny and sympathetic consideration that their high im- 
portance demands. I am to request that after consultation 
with important bodies and individuals representative of the 
classes of the community, the Governor in Council (Lieutenant- 
Governor or you) will submit his matured conclusions on each 
branch of the subject to the Government of India, together with a 
detailed statement of the alterations that the Governor in 
Council (the Lieutenant-Governor or you) desire (s) to make 
in the Council regulations in order to carry his proposals into 
effect. 

25. I am to ask that a reply to this letter may be received 
by the Government of India not later than the ist March 1908. 



E. 

EXTRACTS FROM THE DESPATCH FROM THE GOVERNMENT 
OF INDIA TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE (THE RT. HON'BLE 
VISCOUNT MORLEY OF BLACKBURN, o. M.), NO. 21, DATED THE 

ISt. OF OCTOBER, 1 908. 

We have the honour to address you on the subject of the 
constitutional reforms which were initiated more than two 
years ago by His Excellency the Viceroy in a Minute reviewing 
the political situation in India. LORD MINTO then pointed out 
how the growth of education, encouraged by British rule, had 
led to the rise of important classes claiming equality of citizen- 
ship, and aspiring to take a larger part in shaping the policy of 
the Government, and he appointed a Committee of his Council 
to consider the group of questions arising out of these novel 
conditions. From the discussions thus commenced there was 
developed, by stages which we need not detail, the tentative 
project of reform outlined in the Home Department letter to 
local Governments, no. 2310-17, dated the 24th August 1907. 
After receiving your approval in Council, that letter was laid 
before Parliament and was published in England and 
India. The local Governments to whom it was addressed 
were instructed to consult important bodies and individuals 
representative of various classes of the community before 
submitting their own conclusions to the Government of India. 
These instructions have been carried out with great care and 
thoroughness. 

Reception of the scheme. 

2. The provisional scheme thus submitted to the judgment 
of the Indian public comprised the creation of Imperial 
and Provincial Advisory Councils, the enlargement of the 
Legislative Councils, and more ample facilities for discussing 
the Imperial and Provincial Budgets. Every feature of 
our proposals has aroused keen interest, and has met with 
ample and outspoken criticism from the most intelligent 
members of Indian society, and the voluminous correspond- 
ence which we now enclose may be regarded as an adequate 
and exhaustive expression of the views of those who are 



230 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

qualified to pronounce an independent opinion on the weighty 
and intricate matters now under consideration. In a country 
where the separation of classes, castes, races and communities 
is so marked as in India, and little common national 
sentiment has as yet been evolved, the natural tendency is, as 
the Bombay Government have pointed out, for the advocates 
of each particular class or interest to consider how their 
own advantage can best be furthered, and to overlook the wider 
aspects of the subject. This tendency comes out strongly in 
the non-official opinions forwarded by the local Governments. 
From the landholders, whether Hindu or Mahomedan, the 
scheme has met with a generally favourable reception. With 
very few exceptions, they either approve of the proposals 
regarding advisory Councils or make suggestions which leave 
their principle untouched. They welcome the separate represen- 
tation of the landowning interest on the Legislative Councils, 
and many of them lay stress on the condition that the member 
elected to represent their class must himself belong to it. The 
Mahomedans point out that the reforms of 1892 paid no 
regard to the diversity of the interests involved, and that 
territorial representation, in so far as it was then introduced, 
has placed a monopoly of voting power in the hands of the 
professional class. Most of them express their satisfaction with 
the scheme of Advisory Councils, and they are unanimous in 
their commendation of the proposal to assign special seats to 
Muhammadans on the Legislative Councils, though some of 
them urge that the measure of representation offered to them 
falls short of that which their numbers and influence entitle 
them to demand. On the other hand the leaders of the 
professional class regard the Advisory Councils as superfluous 
and illusory ; they protest against class electorates for the 
Legislative Councils ; and they demand the formation of 
territorial constituencies on a scale which would render their 
own influence predominant. Comparatively few opinions have 
been received from the commercial and industrial classes. But 
all of them, whether European or Indian, agree in complaining 
that their interests have received insufficient consideration and 
that they ought to have more members on the Imperial Legisla- 
tive Council. 

3. The divergent opinions briefly summarised here bear 
striking testimony to the wisdom of LORD LANSDOWNE'S 
Government in describing Indian society as "essentially a 
congeries of widely separated classes, races and communities, 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 231 

with divergences of interests and hereditary sentiment which 
for ages have precluded common action or local unanimity," 
and in insisting that the representation of such a community 
could only be secured by assigning to each important class a 
member specially acquainted with its views. The conditions 
which existed then are shown by the present correspondence to 
continue still. Indeed, the advance in general education, that 
has taken place since 1892, has added to the complexity of 
the problem by bringing to the front classes which were then 
backward, and by making them more keenly conscious of their 
individual interests and more disposed to claim separate 
representation by means of special electorates. In framing the 
greatly enlarged scheme of reform, which is explained below, 
we have given careful consideration to the views of all classes, 
and we desire to acknowledge the value of opinions which have 
been submitted by the educated members of all communities 
who, though their number is relatively small, deservedly occupy 
a special position by reason of their intellectual attainments 
and the attention they have given to public questions. With 
these preliminary observations we pass to the consideration, in 
fuller detail, of the actual proposals upon which we now submit 
our final recommendations to His Majesty's Government. 

An Imperial Advisory Council. 

4. Opinions on its composition. The considerations by 
which we were influenced in proposing the creation of an 
Imperial Advisory Council are fully stated in paragraph 4 of 
our letter of 24th August 1907. The Council then suggested 
was to consist of about sixty members, of whom twenty were 
to be Ruling Chiefs and the rest territorial magnates. The 
opinions of local Governments on the advantages of the scheme 
are divided. The views of the Madras Government are wholly 
adverse ; the Government of Bombay cordially agree with the 
principle involved, but demur to the combination of Chiefs and 
territorial magnates, and suggest an Advisory Council of Ruling 
Chiefs for consultation on questions affecting them alone ; the 
Lieutenant-Governors of Bengal and the United Provinces 
approve. The Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab is opposed 
to a mixed Council, but thinks that a smaller Council of Princes 
to discuss matters of imperial and general importance might be 
of advantage, and suggests that to this Council there might be 
admitted a few men of wide reputation throughout India. The 



232 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces takes substantially 
the same view. The Lieutenant-Governors of Burma and of 
Eastern Bengal and Assam approve generally of the scheme. 
Most of the non-officials receive with enthusiasm the general 
principle of associating the people more directly with the 
Government, but there is no unanimity in regard to the means 
by which this end may be attained, and the leading features 
of the Government proposal are generally condemned on 
various grounds. The main objections are that Ruling Chiefs 
will not sit with subjects of the British Government, who 
are necessarily of inferior status ; that they have no knowledge 
of the conditions of British India, and that they would for that 
reason be useless either for the purpose of advising the Gov- 
ernment, or of diffusing information to the people. As regards 
territorial magnates, it is alleged that they are out of touch 
with the people, and that their interests are necessarily adverse 
to those of the great body of agriculturists. 

5. Criticisms on the functions of the Council. Apart 
from the qualifications of its personnel the proposed Council 
is criticised on the grounds that it would have no legal recog- 
nition and no formal powers ; that the Government would be 
under no obligation to consult it or to be guided by its advice ; 
that its proceedings would be secret, and that Government 
would have discretion to publish or not to publish them as it 
thought fit ; and that the views of a nominated Council would 
command no respect if they were in conflict with those of 
the elected members of the Legislative Council, while if the 
two bodies concurred in opposing the Government the diffi- 
culties of the situation would be increased. The views of a 
number of Ruling Chiefs have been ascertained by letter and 
by personal consultation, and several political officers have 
also been consulted. The majority of Ruling Chiefs are 
opposed to the formation of a Council on which Ruling 
Chiefs and territorial magnates would sit together. Nearly 
all the political officers are of the same opinion. 

6. Recommendations of the Government of India. We 
have carefully considered and discussed these criticisms. In 
view of the opposition of the Chiefs to a Council of mixed 
composition, and of the unfavourable reception which our 
proposal has met with in British India, we consider that the 
published scheme should not be proceeded with at present. 
It is possible that in course of time the relations of Native 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 233 

States to British India may become more intimate, and that 
common interests may arise which might with advantage be 
referred for discussion to a mixed Council, or to a Council 
consisting of two Chambers, one of Chiefs and the other of 
Notables. But in present conditions we are of opinion that an 
attempt to create a mixed Council in any form would result 
in failure. We think, however, that there should be an Im- 
perial Council composed only of Ruling Chiefs. The scope 
of such a Council would necessarily be narrower than that of a 
mixed Council, but there are many questions of an Imperial 
character on which the advice of Ruling Chiefs would be of 
great value, and we are of opinion that the time has come 
when they should be invited to assist the Governor-General in 
the guardianship of common and Imperial interests. 

7. Proposal for the Council of British Indian Notables. 
The question then arises whether, in addition to a Council 
of Chiefs, there should be an Advisory Council composed ex- 
clusively of Notables of British India. As to this our view is 
that if an experiment is to be made in the direction of 
Advisory Councils, it should be made, in the first instance, by 
the institution of Provincial Advisory Councils on the lines 
indicated below, and that the question of an Imperial Council 
of Notables for British India only should not be entertained 
until the success of that experiment has been vindicated. It 
will always be open to the Viceroy to ask for the advice of 
members of Provincial Councils if he so desires. 

8. The Council of Chiefs. Concerning the manner in 
which a Council of Chiefs should be called into existence we 
observe that legislation is not necesssry and would not be 
appropriate ; we consider that the Council should be created 
in the exercise of the right of the Viceroy to choose his own 
advisers in respect of matters which are under his control as 
the head of the Government. This disposes of the various 
suggestions put forward in the papers as to local recognition, 
statutory powers, election of the whole or part of the Council, 
periodical meetings, right of initiative, power to block Gov- 
ernment measures by the vote of a majority of a certain 
strength, public discussion, and so forth. It puts the scheme on 
its proper footing and leaves it to develop by the natural process 
of growth to which all successful political institutions are due. 

9. Number and term of office. Passing now to the ques- 
tion of the number of the Council, the mode of appointment 

30 



234 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1QO8. 

and the term of office, we recommend that it should be limited 
to such a number as is appropriate in view of the claims and 
traditions which have to be considered. We observe that the 
Imperial Privy Council proposed by LORD LYTTON included 
only 12 Chiefs, and that His Lordship said that he could not 
recommend a larger number " without extending the honour 
to minors, or Chiefs of a rank too low for so high and honour- 
able an office or to Chiefs not wholly fitted for the dignity of 
Councillors." Eventually only eight Chiefs were given the 
title of Councillor of the Empress. As the Council should, in 
our opinion, be appointed by the Viceroy, it follows that 
neither hereditary tenure nor election would be admissible. 
The members would hold office during the Viceroy's pleasure, 
and it would be at his discretion to consult any of them, indi- 
vidually or collectively, as he might think fit from time to 
time. 

10. Subjects for discussion. There is abundant evidence 
in the opinions that have come before us of the existence of 
a strong feeling that the Council ought to be given some power 
of initiative and that their discussions should not be strictly 
limited to matters formally referred to them. This view 
appears to us natural and reasonable, and we recommend that 
any member should have power at any time to ask that a 
question be referred to the Council. It would of course be 
entirely in the discretion of the Viceroy to grant such a request. 
We do not, however, think it desirable in announcing the 
creation of the Council to enumerate by way of catalogue the 
subjects to be referred to it. Such an enumeration, would, 
on the one hand, tend to limit consultation, while on the other, 
it might lead to the Council being overburdened at starting 
with a list of subjects, some of which did not call for imme- 
diate consideration. We have little doubt that questions will 
arise from time to time the disposal of which will be mate- 
rially facilitated by the deliberations of such a Council as we 
contemplate. We do not think it advisable to define the 
scope of consultation more precisely, and for the present, at 
any rate, we would leave the whole matter to the unfettered 
discretion of the Viceroy. 

ii. Meetings and procedure. For much the same reasons 
it does not appear to us to be necessary, until further experience 
has been gained of the actual working of the Council, to 
determine whether it should meet periodically, and, if so, at 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IQO8. 235 

what intervals. That will obviously depend partly upon the 
amount of business to be brought before the Council and partly 
on the question whether the nature of the business is such as 
to call for personal and collective discussion, or whether it can 
more conveniently be dealt with by means of correspondence. 
It is true that the opinions on the subject, both those of the 
Chiefs and those sent up by local Governments, are in general 
agreement that the Council should meet once a year at least. 
It has, however, been pointed out by several critics that the 
expense of assembling the Council would be considerable, and 
could not fairly be charged either on the taxpayers of British 
India or on those of the Native States. We observe, moreover, 
that some of the more important Chiefs dislike the idea of 
collective consultation, that they hint at difficulties of precedence 
among themselves, and that they evidently consider free dis- 
cussion to be only possible among equals. These Chiefs 
express a preference for consultation by letter, or for the 
appointment of certain Chiefs to offer advice when they think 
it necessary. They do not wish to be invited to attend meet- 
ings, both for the personal reasons already suggested, and 
because of the expense and inconvenience and the interruption 
of their regular administrative work. It appears to us that 
there is much force in these objections. We believe, however, 
that they might be got over by holding a meeting in the first 
instance for the purpose of inaugurating the Council, and of 
giving opportunity for an informal interchange of views, and 
then conducting the business of the Council by means of 
correspondence, unless some occasion should render it desirable 
to call together the entire body. In our opinion the proceedings 
of the Council when invited to assemble for collective consulta- 
tion should ordinarily be confidential ; but it would rest with 
the Viceroy after consultation with the Council to cause a 
statement of the subjects discussed and the decisions arrived at 
to be published. 

Provincial Advisory Councils. 

12. The Government of India's original proposal. In our 
letter of the 24th August 1907, we suggested that the various 
Provincial Governments should, when the local conditions admit, 
be furnished with a selected body of advisers, whom they would 
consult upon all measures of importance affecting the popula- 
tions committed to their charge. The Provincial Councils were 
to be of smaller size than the Imperial Council then contem- 



236 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

plated, but their membership was to be large enough to embrace 
all interests of sufficient importance to claim representation 
on such a body. The greater and smaller landholders, industry, 
commerce, capital, and the professional classes were to be 
included in the Council ; and it was observed that the association 
of non-official Europeans standing for these important interests, 
with the natural leaders of Indian society in common consulta- 
tion on matters of public importance would tend to promote 
a better understanding, and to clear away on both sides 
injurious prejudices and misconceptions. Each local Govern- 
ment was to be at liberty to consult its Advisory Council, 
either individually or collectively, in regard to any provincial 
question. 

13, Views of local Governments. The replies of local 
Governments are not unanimous, but on the whole they are in 
favour of the proposal. The Government of Bombay approve 
of the general idea, but consider that the practical success of 
the Council must depend on the personal weight and influence 
of its members, each of whom should, as far as possible, represent 
some important class or interest. Their number should not 
exceed 20 ; all should be nominated for three years ; and the 
Council should elect its own President in the absence of the 
Governor. A separate Council of not more than five members 
should be appointed for Sind. The Lieutenant Governor of 
Bengal proposes a Council of about 30 members representing 
large and small landholders, Feudatory Chiefs, European and 
Indian Commerce, tea and indigo, the professions, the Univer- 
sity, the district boards and the municipalities. The Lieutenant 
Governor of the United Provinces suggests that the Council 
should consist of 35 nominated members, including representa- 
tives of the province on the Imperial Council, and four elected 
members of the Provincial Legislative Council, the balance 
being made up by representatives of land, industry, commerce, 
the planting community, the professional classes, and educa- 
tional and religious interests. The Council should be free to 
choose its own President any Secretary, and should conduct 
its deliberations in the absence of any Government official. 
The Lieutenant Governor of Burma approves of the scheme as 
a general measure of policy, but considers that the province 
is not yet ripe for such a measure. The Lieutenant Governor 
of Eastern Bengal and Assam thinks it doubtful whether a 
Provincial Advisory Council could be easily got together owing 
to the expense and labour of attending meetings. He suggests 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 237 

a Council composed of the members of the Legislative Council 
and representatives of other interests, including members 
elected by the District Advisory Councils which he thinks 
should be formed. The Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab 
dwells on the difficulty of finding suitable men for an Advisory 
Council and a Legislative Council and observes that if, for the 
sake of uniformity, it is necessary to have an Advisory Council 
in the Punjab, its number should be the smallest compatible 
with adequate representation of the main creeds, classes and 
interests. He considers that five or at the most seven Councillors 
would be sufficient. The Chief Commissioner of the Central 
Provinces proposes a Council of 25, comprising 8 members 
elected by district boards and large municipalities, 6 members 
nominated to represent the commercial classes and minorities, 
and ii official members. The Madras Government criticise 
the published scheme on the grounds stated at length in their 
letter of I3th March, and, instead of creating a Provincial 
Advisory Council, propose to consult the non-official members 
of their Legislative Council informally when they require advice. 
In regard to the question whether the proceedings of the Council 
should be strictly private and confidential, or whether some 
provision should be made for public conferences, we find few 
definite expressions of the opinion of local Governments. The 
Governments of Eastern Bengal and the United Provinces 
appear to contemplate giving a certain amount of publicity to 
the proceedings of the comparatively large Councils which they 
propose, and the Government of Bombay, though they propose 
a relatively small Council, do not suggest that its proceedings 
should necessarily be confidential. On the other hand, the 
Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal advises that the proceedings 
should be ''informal, private, and confidential", while for the 
Punjab a small confidential Council is proposed. 

14. Views of other persons. - The opinions before us from 
other persons are beyond doubt in favour of the creation of 
some form of Provincial Advisory Council, in order to bring 
the people more closely into touch with local Governments. 
There is, however, considerable diversity of opinion as to the 
size and constitution of the proposed Council. Suggestions 
vary from a small Council of not less than 10 representing land, 
commerce, the professions and retired officials, to larger bodies 
of 50, 60 or 80 members partly elected and partly nominated. 
Generally speaking, the tendency of the professional middle 
class is to propose a rather large statutory Council, wholly or 



238 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IQO8. 

partly elected so as to represent a variety of interests, holding 
public sittings at regular intervals, and exercising extensive 
legal powers, which would include an unlimited initiative, power 
to ask questions and to call for information and papers, and 
an absolute or suspensory vote on Government proposals. The 
landholders are mainly concerned with securing adequate or 
preponderant representation for themselves, but many of them 
make much the same proposals as the professional class. The 
MAHARAJA OF BENARES puts forward the suggestion, which has 
been adopted by the United Provinces Government, that the 
Council should have its own President and Secretary ; SIR FAIYAZ 
ALI KHAN proposes an elected Council ; the RAJA OF MALABAR 
pleads for legal recognition, periodical meetings, public discus- 
sion, and election of members. The British Indian Association 
advocate district representation, power of initiating questions, 
and publication of opinions. The Mahomedan opinions are 
almost unanimous in desiring a Council, but differ as to its 
composition. Some ask for large Councils on which each 
district would have a representative ; others propose smaller 
bodies with 25 or 30 members. Several writers suggest that 
religious interests should be specially represented. Among the 
Mahomedans of the Punjab the best opinion accepts a small 
Council of six or seven members as appropriate. 

15. Final recommendations of Government of India. The 
demand for Advisory Councils of large size, and for opportu- 
nities of public debate, appears to us to have its origin mainly 
in the feeling, which has been generally expressed, that there 
ought to be greater facilities for the discussion of public 
measures than now exist. We recognise the force of this claim, 
but we think that it should be met rather by extending the 
powers of the existing Legislative Councils than by setting up 
large rival Councils which must to some extent conflict with 
them. In the recommendations which we shall presently submit 
to Your Lordship in regard to the Legislative Councils we have 
suggested the removal of the restrictions which now prevent 
debate on matters which are not before the Council in the 
form of legislation, and we believe that this change should 
satisfy those who ask for large Advisory Councils for the reason 
given above. But the question remains whether it would not 
be of advantage for the Head of a local Government to have a 
small body of Councillors to whom he could turn for advice 
before his policy was definitely shaped, or whom he could use 
as a channel of communication with the public in the matters 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IQOS. 239 

which could not conveniently be brought before the Legislative 
Council. Beyond doubt the bulk of opinion is in favour of 
the formation of some consultative body, and we recommend 
that Advisory Councils of the character indicated above should 
be constituted in those Provinces in which the Head of the 
Government is of opinion that they would be of service. Condi- 
tions vary, and we would not compel any local Government to 
make what, after all, can only be an experiment, unless local 
conditions were held to warrant it. But we believe that such 
Councils, if wisely directed, might become of marked value in 
some provinces. They would provide a means of obtaining 
advice both on proposals for legislation and on administrative 
questions, and of conveying information as to the intentions 
and motives of Government, and further they would be a visible 
sign of the desire of the Government to take the best minds in 
the province into their confidence. It is however, in our opinion, 
essential that such Councils should be limited in size and that 
the decision as to their numbers should rest with the Govern- 
ment of India. The reason for this is plain ; the effect of any 
departure from the standard model would not be confined to 
a single province, but would inevitably affect the administration 
of other provinces and of India as a whole. The appointment 
of members would naturally rest with the local Government, 
and in our judgment the criterion of membership should be 
distinction of some kind, whether arising from intellectual 
capacity, personal influence, or representative position. It 
follows from the fact that the Councils are to be advisory bodies 
only, that no legislation is required for their creation. We do 
not propose to attempt any formal enumeration of the subjects 
with which such Councils should deal. We think it sufficient 
to say that the Council should consider matters referred to it 
by the head of the Government, but that any member should 
have power at any time to ask that a question be referred to 
the Council. It would of course be entirely in the discretion 
of the head of the Government to decline to refer a particular 
question to the Council. We are of opinion that a record should 
in all cases be kept of the subjects discussed and of the con- 
clusions arrived at, and that it should rest with the head of the 
Government to determine in consultation with the Council 
whether and in what form a statement of the views of the 
Council should be published. 



240 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 

The Imperial Legislative Council. 

1 6. The history of the various stages by which the Imperial 
Legislative Council has developed into its present form is given 
in vSlR COURTENAY ILBERT'S Government of India and need not 
be repeated here. Under the law and rules at present in force 
the Council stands thus : 

Ex-Offieio. 

The Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal (or of the Punjab when the 
Council assembles in Simla), the Commander-in-Chief and 
the members of the Executive Council ... ... 8 

Additional. 

A. Nominated members ; not more than 6 to be officials ; the non- 
officials to be nominated with reference to legislative business 
or to represent interests ... ... .. n 



B. Elected members 

(a) By the Legislative Councils of Madras, Bombay 

and the United Provinces 

(b) By the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce ... 

or, including His Excellency the Viceroy 



Total 



5 
Bengal 

4 
i 

24 
25 



17. In our letter of 24th August 1907 we suggested that 
effect might be given to the principle of the representation of 
classes and interests by means of a council constituted in the 
following manner : 

Ex-officio. 

The Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal (or of the Punjab when the 
Council assembles in Simla), the Commander-in-Chief, and 
the members of the Executive Council ... ... 8 

Additional. 

A. Nominated members ; not more than 20 to be officials ; of the 
non-officials, one to be a Ruling Chief ; four to represent 
minorities or special interests, not less than two being Maho- 
medans ; and two, when necessary, to be experts nominated 
for special purposes... ... ... ... 27 

B. Elected members ... ... ... ... 18 

(a) by the Chambers of Commerce of Calcutta and Bombay 2 

(b) by the non-official members of the Provincial Councils of 

Madras, Bombay, Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, 
the United Provinces, the Punjab and Burma. 7 

(c) by the nobles and the great landowners of Madras, Bombay, 

Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, the United Provinces, 

the Punjab, and the Central Provinces ... 7 

(d) by Mahomedans ... ... ... ... 2 

Total ... 53 
or, including His Excellency the Viceroy ... ... 54 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESl'ATCH, 1908. 24! 

1 8. Principle of representation. V\ r e have carefully con- 
sidered the proposal of local Governments on the subject 
and the large body of non-official opinions submitted. In 
our judgment these papers bear out to the fullest extent the 
conclusion that representation by classes and interests is the 
only practicable method of embodying the elective principle 
in the constitution of the Indian Legislative Councils. A 
great array of authorities may be cited in support of this 
opinion. Twenty years ago, in the course of the discussions 
leading up to the report of SIR GEORGE CHESNEY'S Com- 
mittee, MR. (NOW LORD) MACDONELL, then Home Secretary 
to LORD DUFFERIN'S Government, said in a note which was 
forwarded to the India Office: "The process of modifying 
the existing constitution of the Councils should proceed on a 
clear recognition and firm grasp of the fact that India is a 
congeries of races, nationalities and creeds, widely differing 
inter se in a variety of ways." On the same occasion SIR 
GEORGE CHESNEY expressed similar views, and SIR CHARLES 
AlTCHiSON observed that "the division of the people into 
creeds, castes, and sects with varying and conflicting interests " 
rendered representation in the European sense an obvious 
impossibility. A passage in LORD DUFFERIN'S Minute an- 
nexed to the Government of India's Despatch of the 6th Nov- 
ember 1888 describes the population of India as "composed 
of a large number of distinct nationalities, professing various 
religions, practising diverse rites, speaking different languages, 
while many of them are still further separated from one another 
by discordant prejudices, by conflicting social usages, and even 
antagonistic material interests." This opinion is not confined 
to Englishmen, but is shared by competent Indian observers 
at the present day. In a recent address to a modern political 
association on the duty of patriotic Indians, His HIGHNESS the 
AGA KHAN has given emphatic expression to similar senti- 
ments. "In India," he says, "no such union as is essential 
to the creation of a strong, independent, homogeneous state is 
possible without centuries of consolidation. Even if we assume 
that the forces tending to unification are quickened by the 
machinery of modern civilisation, generations must pass before 
India is a nation. In very truth we can detect signs of the 
advent of that unity which is the first essential to the creation 
of a modern State." 

19. These views receive striking independent confirm- 
ation from the debates in Parliament on the Indian Councils 



242 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 

Bill which became law in 1892. In the Upper House LORD 
RlPON referred to the extreme difficulty of " selecting men who 
represented the various classes of the community, and the 
various sections of opinion, as well as the various localities 
of India." LORD KlMBERLEY said "The notion of a Par- 
liamentary representation of so vast a country almost as 
large as Europe containing so large a number of different 
races is one of the wildest imaginations that ever entered the 
minds of men." He went on to emphasise the necessity of 

ascertaining the feelings of "a most important body the 

Mahomedans of India. If you were to be guided entirely 
by the Hindu popular opinion you would find yourself in 
great difficulty." LORD NORTHBROOK considered that provi- 
sion should be made " for the representation of different classes 
of people people of different races and different religions." 
In a later stage of the discussion LORD KlMBERLEY agreed 
with LORD NORTHBROOK, and observed "It has been found 
in this country not very easy to protect the interests of minor- 
ities by any contrivance that can be devised ; but there must be 
found some mode in India of seeing that minorities such as 
the important body of Mahomedans, who are frequently 
in a minority in parts of that country, are fully represented." 
In the House of Commons the weightiest utterance was that of 
MR. GLADSTONE, who referred to the difficulty of introducing 
the elective principle " in an Asiatic country like India with its 
ancient civilization, with institutions so peculiar, with such di- 
versities of races, religions and pursuits." He also drew atten- 
tion to " the danger of having persons who represent particular 
cliques or classes or interests, and who may claim the honour 
of representing the people of India," thus anticipating the 
observation, now made by the Bombay Government, that "the 
educated classes, although a very small minority, appear to 
claim to represent the interests of all sections of the people, and 
are inclined to oppose any measures which appear likely to 
lessen their influence." MR. SAMUEL SMITH spoke of " the 
endless shades of caste, race, and religion in India"; SIR 
WILLIAM PLOWDEN and SIR RICHARD TEMPLE followed in 
the same strain ; and the latter observed that " in fixing the 
ratio of members, the interests to be represented, and the 
classes which constitute the bulk of the people, ought to be 
the determining factors rather than the population." 

20. To the principle thus affirmed by both Houses of 
Parliament LORD LANSDOWNE'S Government endeavoured to 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 243 

give as wide a scope as was then possible, in the regulations 
framed by them for the constitution of the Provincial Legis- 
lative Councils. In the letters addressed by them to local 
Governments on the 1 5th August 1892, they enumerated the 
interests which seemed to be of sufficient importance to require 
representation, and indicated the manner in which the seats 
to be filled by recommendation should be allotted so as to 
secure the object in view. The question of the direct represen- 
tation of those interests on the Imperial Legislative Council 
did not at that time arise, as it was believed that the non-official 
members of the Provincial Legislative Councils, as reconstituted 
under the regulations then about to be made, would form a 
sufficiently wide electorate for the Supreme Council. This 
electorate, however, while it has worked advantageously in the 
case of one class, can hardly be said to have afforded propor- 
tionate representation to the other interests concerned. Of the 
non-official members elected to the Imperial Council since 1893, 
45 per cent, have belonged to the professional middle class ; 
the landholders have obtained 27 per cent, of the seats, and the 
Mahomedans only 12 per cent ; while the Indian mercantile 
community, a large and increasingly important body, have had 
no representative at all. The advance of English education, 
and the demand of influential classes and interests for representa- 
tion on a more ample scale, now render it necessary to examine 
the whole subject in the light of the experience of the last 
fifteen years, and to treat it on more liberal and comprehensive 
lines than we have hitherto been able to follow. With the 
enlargement of the Imperial Council it ceases to be possible to 
rely exclusively upon a single source of recruitment. New 
constituencies must be formed, and in framing them we have 
to consider what sections of the population can properly claim 
representation for British India as a whole. With due regard 
for the limitations of a purely numerical test, we would refer 
to the following statistics of communities, interests, and adult 
male persons who can read and write, as indicating in a general 
way the main factors which enter into the problem. The 
figures are taken from the Census of 1901 and relate to British 
India only : 

Communities. 

Number. Per cent. 

Hindus ... ... ... 158,601,000 ... 68 

Mahomedans ... ... 53,804,000 ... 23 

Buddhists ... ... 9,411,000 ... 4 



244 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

Number. Per cent. 

Christians ... 1,904,000 ... "81 

Sikhs ... ... 1,574,000 ... '67 

Jains ... ... ... 479>oo ... 20 

Interests. 

Agriculture ... ... 155,678,000 ... 67. I 

Commerce and Industry ... 38,302,000 ... 16. 5 

Professions ... ... 3,871,000 T. 6 

Adult Males. 

Literate in English ... 652^000 ... i 

Literate in Vernacular ... 8,616,000 14 

21. Starting from these data and bearing in mind the 
principles laid down by Parliament in 1892 for the guidance of 
LORD LANSDOWNE'S Government, we propose that the Imperial 
Legislative Council should be constituted as follows : 

A.Ex-offitio members ... ... ... ... 8 

B. Officials representing provinces ... ... ... 8 

C. Nominated members ; not more than 15 to be officials ; the 
non-officials to be representatives of minorities or special 
interests, or experts ... ... ... ... 18 

Z?. Elected members ... ... ... ... 28 

(a) by the Provincial Legislative Councils and by the Advisory 
Council of the Central Provinces ... ... 12 

() by the landholders of Madras, Bombay, Bengal, Eastern 
Bengal and Assam, the United Provinces, the Punjab and 
the Central Provinces ... 7 

(c) by Mahomedans of Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, 
the United Provinces, the Punjab, and (alternately) Madras 
and Bombay ... ... ... ... 5 

(d) by Chambers of Commerce of Calcutta and Bombay... 2 

(e) by representatives of Indian commerce ... ... 2 

Total... 62 
or, including His Excellency the Viceroy ... ... 63 

The Council, when assembled in full strength, would be com- 
posed (excluding the Viceroy) of 31 officials and the same 
number of non-officials, so that His Excellency would only be 
called upon to vote in the event of the Council being equally 
divided. Our reasons for the constitution which we propose are 
stated in detail in the following paragraphs. 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 245 

22. Enlargement of the Council. In our letter of 24th 
August 1907 we suggested that the size of the Council should 
be more than doubled. Among local Governments, Bengal, 
the United Provinces, and Burma approve of the proposal and 
make suggestions tending to raise the number still further. 
The Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces is alarmed at 
the demand for additional official members, and throws out 
the suggestion that their number might be reduced by giving 
each official vote a double value. Most of the opinions forward- 
ed favour enlargement, and a number of persons either propose 
a number in excess of 54, or make suggestions for the re- 
presentation of particular interests which necessarily involve 
an expansion of the Council beyond that limit. We are im- 
pressed with the unanimity of the feeling in favour of a large 
Council, and we consider that the rise in the standard of 
general intelligence, and the universal desire for a greater share 
in the management of public business, render an increase 
inevitable and desirable. In view of the various classes and 
interests which claim representation, we find it impossible to 
propose a smaller number than 62 or, including His Excellency 
the Viceroy, 63. 

23. Power to create an official majority, The principle of 
an official majority was accepted by His Majesty's Government 
in the correspondence which took place last year, and was 
embodied, with their authority, in our letter of 24th August 
1907. We can discover nothing in the present correspondence 
that would justify us in proposing its surrender. It is obvious 
that under existing constitutional conditions the Government 
cannot resign, it must be able to settle the budget and procure 
supplies for the service of the country : and it cannot divest 
itself of the power to give effect by legislation to the decisions 
of His Majesty's Government. Those non-officials who approach 
the subject from its practical side clearly realise the anomaly 
of the Executive Government being placed in a permanent 
minority. In the scheme submitted to us by the HON'BLE MR. 
GOKHALE, who may be taken to represent the better informed 
section of Indian publicists, he carefully guards himself against 
any such idea. On the Councils outlined by him the Govern- 
ment is " assured of a standing majority behind it " and the 
head of the Government is further vested with a general veto. 
He asks only for " a minority but a respectable minority " of 
non-official members. In all provinces the opinions which 
carry most weight, owing to the position of the writers of their 



246 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IQO8. 

experience as members of a Legislative Council, proceed on 
similar lines ; though the strength of the official majorities 
proposed by them differs slightly, and some suggest that official 
votes should have a double value, or that the official proposals 
should prevail and that no cognizance should be taken of the 
votes. We gladly recognize the moderation and good sense by 
which these views are inspired. At the same time, in order to 
avoid the inconvenience and waste of power involved in taking a 
number of officers away from their ordinary work merely for 
the purpose of voting on the Government side, we would reduce 
the official majority to the narrowest limits. Our scheme 
provides (excluding His Excellency the Viceroy) for 31 official 
members, 8 ex-officio> 8 representing provinces, and 1 5 appoint- 
ed from among those officials at the headquarters of Govern- 
ment whose services can be made available without undue 
interruption of their ordinary duties. In the event of the Council 
being equally divided so that 31 officials were on one side and 
3 1 non-officials on the other, the Viceroy's vote would turn the 
scale. 

24. Ordinary constitution of the Council. We have stated 
in the last paragraph our reasons for deeming it essential to 
retain the power of procuring, in the last resort, the support 
of a majority of officials in our Legislative Councils. Subject 
to this essential condition, we are prepared, in the Councils as 
constituted for ordinary purposes, to make a far larger conces- 
sion than has as yet been suggested and to dispense with an 
official majority. We have every hope that the confidence we 
are willing to place in the intelligence and public spirit of the 
non-official members will be justified, and that increased respon- 
sibility will bring with it the requisite forbearance. We believe 
that on all ordinary occasions the Government may reckon with 
practical certainty upon securing sufficient non-official support 
to enable them to carry on the work of legislation with a 
Council containing less than the full quota of official members, 
and we are willing to give this system a fair trial. Our speci- 
fication of the Council has been framed accordingly. The 
provision that of the nominated members not more than 15 
shall be officials will enable us to dispense with an official 
majority for ordinary purposes, and we anticipate that it will 
hardly ever be necessary to appoint so large a number of officials 
as would secure an absolute official majority. In short, we 
propose to work normally witn a minority, but to reserve power 
in the last resort to transform it into a majority. 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 247 

25. Omission of the Ruling Chief. The inclusion of a 
Ruling Chief in the Imperial Legislative Council proposed last 
year is objected to by a large number of persons on the ground 
that it is anomalous that an outsider should take part in making 
laws by which neither he nor his subjects will be affected, and 
that in most cases a Chief can know very little about the subjects 
with which British Indian legislation is concerned. We have 
considered these arguments, and we recommend that a Ruling 
Chief should not form an obligatory element of the Council. When 
there happen to be special reasons for appointing one, it will 
always be open to His Excellency to appoint him to one of 
the seats reserved for nomination, where he might at the same 
time serve the purpose of representing a minority such as the 
Mahomedans or the Sikh community. 

26. Representation of the professional middle class. Our 
proposal to assign seven seats to the non-official members 
of the Provincial Councils of Madras, Bombay, Bengal, Eastern 
Bengal and Assam, the United Provinces, the Punjab, and 
Burma is accepted by all local Governments except the 
Punjab, which observes that as the number of non-official 
members on its Provincial Council will probably remain small, 
"it would be difficult, though not of course impossible, to 
concede to them the right of electing a member for the Impe- 
rial Council." This portion of the published scheme has, 
however, been attacked on the ground that it gives to the 
professional middle class only three more seats (corresponding 
to the three additional provinces to be represented) than they 
now possess. Several suggestions are made for increasing 
the number by assigning two or more members to each of 
the Provincial Councils. We have considered these proposals, 
but we find it impossible to give each of the seven Provincial 
Councils as many as two members without raising the total 
strength of the Imperial Council to an extent that would be in- 
convenient. We recommend, therefore, that the four provinces, 
which will have comparatively large Provincial Councils, 
namely, Madras, Bombay, Bengal and the United Provinces, 
should be allowed to elect two members, the three provinces 
with smaller Councils, namely, the Punjab, Eastern Bengal and 
Assam and Burma getting only one member each. This would 
raise the number of members elected by Provincial Legislative 
Councils from seven to eleven, which seems a fair allotment so 
far as the provinces with Councils are concerned. The case of 
the Central Provinces has also to be considered. There is at 



248 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

present no Legislative Council in those Provinces, and there 
are difficulties in forming any kind of suitable electorate. For 
the present, therefore, we think that some use may legitimately 
be made of the Advisory Council, and we consider that the re- 
presentative might be nominated by the Chief Commissioner 
in consultation with that Council. This is perhaps not a very 
great advance, but it represents a somewhat nearer approach to 
election than nomination pure and simple., which appears to be 
the only practicable alternative. 

27. Representation of landholders. The proposal made in 
our letter of 24th August 1907 that the nobles and great land- 
owners of Madras, Bombay, Bengal, Eastern Bengal and 
Assam, the United Provinces, the Punjab, and the Central 
Provinces should be represented by seven members, is gene- 
rally approved by the local Governments, and has been well 
received by the landholders themselves, and we consider that 
it gives sufficient representation to the landed interest. The 
question, however, of the manner in which the members are to 
be selected is a difficult one, and there is little uniformity in the 
answers. The Governments of Madras and Bengal propose to 
form electorates based upon income from land. The United 
Provinces has a scheme for election proper in Agra, and an- 
other for election by associations in Oudh. The Government 
of Bombay make no suggestion as to the manner in which the 
representative of the Bombay landowners on the Imperial 
Council should be selected. The Chief Commissioner of the 
Central Provinces thinks that the formation of an electorate 
is impossible and puts forward a scheme for election by Dur- 
baris combined with nomination. The Lieutenant-Governor of 
Eastern Bengal and Assam proposes election by an associa- 
tion, and the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab is in favour 
of nomination. Among these conflicting opinions it is impos- 
sible for us, with the materials available, to make any definite 
proposal which would admit of general application, nor is it 
probable that any uniform system would be feasible through- 
out India. 

28. We may, however, discuss, as briefly as possible, the 
various suggestions that have been made. Of the proposals 
put forward in our published letter election by the landholding 
members of the Provincial Councils is rightly objected to on 
the ground that the electors, numbering from two to four only, 
would be likely to differ over the selection of the candidates. 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IQOS. 249 

Election by a constituency comprising all landholders who pay 
a certain amount of land revenue, or derive a certain income 
from land, is approved in principle by most people, though 
there is some difference of opinion as to the exact sums which 
should confer the franchise. But doubts are expressed by 
some Governments and several landholders as to the possi- 
bility of working such an electorate over an area so large as an 
entire province, and the question is one that can only be settled 
by actual experiment. If the landholders themselves take a 
real interest in the matter, and are anxious to demonstrate 
their fitness to exercise the privilege of voting, provinces will 
compete with each other in devising methods of election and 
the best system will in the long run prevail. Meanwhile we 
may point out that the success of the Calcutta University in 
organising the election of Fellows by a large number of graduates 
scattered all over India furnishes some ground for believing 
that the difficulties anticipated will not be found insuperable. 

29. When regular electorates cannot be formed, the sim- 
plest and most convenient method of selecting members would 
be to recognise election by associations. This practice has 
precedent in its favour. It was mentioned with approval in 
the Parliamentary Debates on the Act of 1892, and in one 
form or another it appears in all of the existing regulations. 
There are, however, certain possibilities connected with it 
which may become more serious if the expansion of the Coun- 
cils and the enlargement of their powers should stimulate the 
electioneering spirit in India. If election by associations is 
admitted as the standard means of giving representation to 
classes, it seems probable that rival associations may claim 
recognition, and that it may be difficult to decide between 
them. There is also the danger that an association may be 
captured by a small ring of politicians ; that its original cha- 
racter may be transformed by changing the conditions of mem- 
bership or by manipulating admissions ; or again that the 
whole organization may exist, as the HON'BLE MALIK UMAR 
HAIYAT KHAN has suggested, "more on paper than in prac- 
tice." Lastly, where parties are formed within an association, 
with the result that the validity of an election is disputed and 
each party charges the other with fraud, it is obvious that the 
Government would find some difficulty in determining which 
of two rival candidates should be held to have been elected. 
For these reasons we consider that the recognition of asso- 
ciations as electoral agencies should be regarded as a provi- 

32 



250 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IOX>8. 

sional arrangement, to be maintained only until the interests 
which they purport to represent demand the formation of a 
regular electorate, and succeed in satisfying the Government 
that this step in advance is practicable. Where there are no 
representative associations, and electorates cannot be formed, 
the only possible alternative is to have recourse to nomination 
until the community has developed sufficiently to be fit for a 
more independent system. In applying each of these methods 
regard would be had to local conditions. For instance in the 
United Provinces the claim of the British Indian Association, 
which represents the Oudh Talukdars, to elect a member 
deserves special consideration ; but the principle to be borne in 
mind is that election by the wishes of the people is the ultimate 
object to be secured, whatever may be the actual machinery 
adopted for giving effect to it. We are in agreement with most 
of the landholders who have discussed the subject in consider- 
ing it essential that in all cases the candidates for election 
should themselves be members of the electorate. 

In framing these proposals we have not lost sight of the 
fact that the interests of landlords and tenants are by no means 
identical ; that our electorates will consist mainly, if not 
exclusively, of the former class, and that no means can at present 
be devised of giving the great body of tenants direct representa- 
tion on the Legislative Councils. Their interests, however, are 
in no danger of being overlooked. In the debate in the House 
of Lords on the 6th March 1890 both LORD RIPON and LORD 
KlMBERLEY pointed out that when the Bengal Tenancy Act 
was under discussion in LORD DUFFERlN's Council "the only 
representative of the ryots was the Government". Among the 
official members of the Legislative Councils there will always 
be some experts in Indian land questions, who will be qualified 
to represent the views of the cultivators. 

30. Representation of Mahomedans All local Govern- 
ments approve of the proposals for the special representation 
of Mahomedans which were made in our letter of 24th August 
1907. These proposals are, as a rule, adversely criticised by 
the Hindus, who regard them as an attempt to set one religion 
against the other, and thus to create a counterpoise to the 
influence of the educated middle class. Some Hindus, however, 
recognise the expediency of giving special representation to 
the Mahomedan community, and the Bombay Presidency 
Association, while they object strongly to the creation of a 






GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 251 

special Mahomedan electorate, make provision in their 
scheme of a Council for the election of two members by the 
Mahomedan community. Notwithstanding their formal 
protest against the principle of religious representation, the 
Asssociation doubtless realise that the Indian Mahomedans 
are much more than a religious body. They form in fact, an 
absolutely separate community, distinct by marriage, food, and 
custom, and claiming in many cases to belong to a different 
race from the Hindus. 

The first question is how many seats should be allotted to 
the Mahomedan community. After carefully considering the 
demands of the Mahomedans themselves and views expressed 
by the Hindus, we think that the claims of the former will be 
adequately met if four elective seats are assigned to them, and 
provision is made for a fifth seat being filled by nomination 
until suitable machinery for election can be devised. The four 
elective seats should be permanently assigned to the four 
provinces which have the largest Mahomedan population, 
namely, Bengal, Eastern Bengal and Assam, the Punjab and 
the United Provinces. The fifth seat should be given alternately 
to Bombay and Madras, where the Mahomedan population 
is smaller, and for this it will be necessary to have recourse to 
nomination until satisfactory electorates can be formed. The 
question of a Mahomedan electorate presents much the same 
difficulties as the formation of a landholding electorate. In 
most provinces the Mahomedans are in favour of election and 
regard nomination as an inferior method of obtaining admission 
to the Legislative Council. The Governments of Madras and 
the United Provinces propose electorates, based partly upon 
property and partly upon literary qualifications, which appear 
to us to be well devised, but the former Government have since 
expressed a preference for nomination. The Mahomedans 
of Bombay are said to be widely scattered over the Presidency, 
and at present unorganised for common purposes, so that a 
special electorate cannot be created. In course of time it may 
be possible to arrange for election by a central association, but 
for the present their proportionate representation can be secured 
only by careful nomination. The Government of Bengal 
proposes a scheme of a similar character which includes 
graduates of five years standing and holders of recognised 
titles ; both of these are doubtful features. The Government 
of Eastern Bengal and Assam suggests that the Mahomedan 
representative should be elected by the Provincial Mahomedan 



2$2 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

Association. The Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab considers 
it impossible to form a Mahomedan electorate, and proposes 
that the Mahomedan representative should be nominated 
by the Lieutenant Governor. We would deal with the question 
in the same way as we have proposed to deal with the represen- 
tation of landholders. Our view is that in Provinces where 
election by a regular Mahomedan electorate is feasible, that 
method should be adopted ; that Mahomedan associations 
should be made use of where electorates cannot be formed ; and 
that nomination by Government should be resorted to where 
neither of the first two methods is practicable. It will be for 
the local Government to determine, in consultation with the 
leaders of the Mahomedan community, which plan should 
be adopted. 

31. Representation of Commerce. In the scheme put 
forward by us in August 1907, two seats on the Council were 
assigned to the Chambers of Commerce of Calcutta and 
Bombay. No provision was made for the representation of 
Indian commerce otherwise than by nomination. The opinions 
show that there is a general feeling in favour of increasing the 
number of commercial representatives. It is difficult, however 
to find room for more than four such members, and it is 
doubtful whether merchants not residing in Calcutta will be 
willing to leave their own business to attend meetings of the 
Legislative Council. Taking four seats as the maximum that 
can be permanently allotted, we propose 

(1) that two seats should be given to the Chambers of Commerce of 

Calcutta and Bombay as representing in the largest sense 
European commerce throughout the whole of India ; 

(2) that two seats should be reserved for Indian commerce, the 

members to be nominated by the Governor-General, in consulta- 
tion with local Governments, until a method of election by 
commercial associations is developed. 

It may be said that the first proposal excludes from 

representation the 

Value of sea-borne trade tn 1907-08. European commercial 
Bengal ... . R s . 1,64, 84, 29, ooo interests of Burma, 

Bombay ... 

Madras 
Ba 



1,67, 53, 10, ooo Madras, Upper, India, 
Sind and the Punjab. 



63 



On the other hand the 



Eastern Bengal and Assam 7,22,49,000 figures noted in the 

margin show how 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IQO8, 253 

enormously the commercial interests of Bengal and Bombay 
preponderate over those of the other provinces. It may be added 
that the Chambers of Commerce of Calcutta and Bombay will 
naturally receive references from the other Chambers on subjects 
affecting Eurepean commercial interests, and will arrange to have 
them brought to the notice of the Council by their own members; 
that representatives of the other Chambers can be brought in 
by nomination as experts or in the place of officials ; and that 
all of these bodies will recommend members for the Provincial 
Councils who will bring forward their views in the debates on 
the Budget. None of the local Governments suggest any 
practicable arrangement for the representation of Indian com- 
merce by means of election, but we are disposed to think that 
if two permanent seats are assigned to that interest, associations 
will in course of time be formed which will be sufficiently 
stable and representative to admit of their being utilised as 
electoral agencies. 

32. Seats reserved for nomination. We have explained 
above our reasons for recommending that the full council should 
comprise not more than 15 nominated officials, exclusive of the 
additional officials required for the purpose of representing 
the provinces. We find it impossible without increasing the 
size of the Council, to assign more than three seats to nomina- 
ted non-officials. This number, however, appears to us suffi- 
cient to enable the Governor-General to give occasional re- 
presentation to the interest of minorities such as the Sikhs, the 
Parsis, the Indian Christians, the Buddhists, and the domiciled 
community and sometimes to appoint one or two experts in 
connexion with legislation pending before the Council. It may 
reasonably be expected that some, at least, of these minorities, 
will obtain seats by the ordinary process of election, while the 
others need only be represented at intervals. It must also be 
remembered that although 15 nominated officials are provided 
for under head C, so as to guarantee in the last resort an ab- 
solute official majority, it will scarcely ever be necessary to 
appoint more than about six, and it may sometimes be possible 
to nominate non-officials to some of the seats reserved for 
officials. When we give power we create responsibility, and a 
solid opposition of all non-official members will not be so lightly 
undertaken in the larger Council of the future as in the smaller 
Council of the past, where such opposition made no possible 
difference to the result. 



254 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

Provincial Legislative Councils. 

33. In our letter of the 24th August 1907, no specific 
scheme of a Provincial Council was put forward, but the general 
principle was laid down that the widest representation should 
be given to classes, races and interests, subject to the condition 
that an official majority must be maintained. These principles 
have been borne in mind by local Governments in the proposals 
which they have made, except that the Bombay Government 
desire to have no majority even in a Council of the maximum 
strength. 

34. General remarks. In framing proposals for the con- 
stitution of the Provincial Legislative Councils we have 
proceeded on the lines followed in the case of the Imperial 
Legislative Council. We have endeavoured to reduce the official 
majority to the narrowest limits by making the number of 
officials and non-officials (excluding the head of the Govern- 
ment) equal, so that, in the event of the full Council being 
equally divided, the vote of the Governor or Lieutenant-Gover- 
nor would turn the scale. We have also laid down that of the 
nominated members not more than a certain number shall be 
officials, the non-officials being representatives of minorities 
or special interests, or experts. This will enable the head of the 
Government to dispense with an official majority in the Council 
as ordinarily constituted, while at the same time retaining in his 
hands the power to appoint the entire number of officials re- 
quisite to secure a majority of one in the full Council. We 
trust, however, that the closer association of officials with non- 
officials in public business, which will result from our proposals, 
will render it unnecessary to have recourse to this expedient. 
It may reasonably be anticipated that in the newly-constituted 
Councils only as many officials need be appointed as will be 
sufficient, in conjunction with three or four non-officials, to enable 
the Government to carry their legislative measures. We have 
made no attempt to frame regular constituencies, for the election 
of landholders, Mahomedans, and representatives of Indian com- 
merce. The materials before us are insufficient for the purpose, 
and the conditions in different provinces vary too much for 
any uniform plan to be feasible. Some Governments may be 
able to form electorates based upon payment of land-revenue 
or income-tax or upon the income derived from land ; others 
may permit associations to recommend members ; and others 
again may have recourse to nomination. It must be under- 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 255 

stood, therefore, that in describing certain classes of members 
as "elected" we use that term subject to the reservation that 
in some cases election in the ordinary sense may be found 
impossible or inexpedient. In any case the question to what 
extent election proper can be introduced will have to be consi- 
dered further when the regulations are being drawn up, after the 
Act of 1892 has been amended. 

***** 
***** 



Resolutions, Questions, and Discussion of the Budget. 

57. Power to move Resolutions. By the Act of 1861, under 
which the present Legislative bodies were constituted, discussion 
was confined to legislative proposals actually before the Coun- 
cils in the form of Bills. In 1892 this limitation was relaxed to 
the extent of allowing debate on the annual financial statement 
although no legislation was involved, and in this debate it is 
permissible for members to draw attention to any matter they 
please, whether it arises directly out of the budget proposals 
or not. But a general debate of this character can never be 
satisfactory. Members do not know beforehand the subjects 
which are to be brought forward by their colleagues ; the dis- 
cussion is necessarily of a desultory character ; and the absence of 
notice not uncommonly prevents the official members from giving 
full information in answer to questions that are raised. We are 
of opinion that the time has come when there should be further 
facilities for debate. We think that members should have op- 
portunities for placing their views on public questions before the 
Government, and we are impressed with the benefits which both 
the Government and the educated public would derive from the 
well-ordered discussion of administrative subjects in the Legis- 
lative Councils, either on a reference from the head of the 
Government, or at the instance of a private member. Such 
discussions would give the Government an opportunity of mak- 
ing their view of a question known, and of explaining the 
reasons which had led them to adopt a particular line of action. 
We therefore propose that power should be given by statute 
for members to move resolutions on matters of general public 
importance, subject to the checks to which we shall presently 
refer. So far as the educated public are concerned, there can 
be little doubt that the right to move resolutions on such 



256 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

questions, and to argue these in a regular debate, will be wel- 
comed as a very great concession ; that it will be resorted to 
freely ; and that it will tend to bring about more intimate 
relations between the official and non-official members. 
We think that the resolutions should be in the form of recom- 
mendations to the Government, because this form expresses the 
constitutional position more precisely, and emphasises the fact 
that the decision must in any case rest with the Government 
and not with the Council. In the event of a resolution not 
being accepted by the Government an opportunity would be 
taken of explaining their reasons. 

58. This subject was not included among those which 
Your Lordship authorised us to put before local Governments, 
and our letter of 24th August, 1907 contained no reference to 
it. But it is a reform to which we attach great importance. 
In support of it we would point out that a similar proposal 
was put forward in 1888 by SIR GEORGE CHESNEY'S Com- 
mittee in reference to Provincial Councils. They recommended 
that, in addition to legislation, it should be one of the functions 
of the local councils to originate advice and suggestions on any 
subject connected with internal administration, and that their 
views should be embodied in the form of a memorandum 
addressed to the head of the Government. They advised, 
however, that it should not be permissible to propose resolutions 
relating to subjects removed from the cognizance of the Provin- 
cial Legislative Councils by section 43 of the Councils Act 
of 1 86 1, which forbids them, except with the previous sanction 
of the Governor-General, "to make regulations or to take into 
consideration any law or regulation" relating to the public debt, 
customs, and Imperial taxes; coin, bills, and notes ; post office 
and telegraph ; altering the Penal Code ; religion ; army and 
navy ; patents or copyright ; foreign relations. That proposal 
was not adopted at the time, and it may have been premature 
in the conditions which then existed, but at least it had the 
high authority of the members of that Committee. 

59. The discussion of administrative questions can how- 
ever only be permitted subject to certain rules and restrictions 
which must be clearly laid down. We do not feel ourselves 
in a position at the present stage to make an exhaustive 
enumeration of these, and we anticipate that, as has been the 
case in the House of Commons, actual experience will lead 
to the framing of standing orders designed to meet the 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 257 

exigencies of debate. It seems to us, however, that the follow- 
ing conditions must be imposed from the first 

(1) Resolutions must relate to matters of public and general importance, 

and not to isolated incidents of administration or personal 
questions. 

(2) No resolution should have by itself any force or effect. It must 

rest with the Government to take action or not to take action 
as it thinks fit. This is the English principle, and it is obvious 
that the Council cannot claim for its resolutions a higher 
degree of authority than attaches to a resolution of the House 
of Commons. 

(3) The order of business must be absolutely under the control 

of the President, and no discussion of his orders can be 
permitted. 

(4) The President must have power to disallow any resolution without 

giving any other reason than that in his opinion it cannot be 
discussed consistently with the public interests. This will 
enable him to reject resolutions which are contrary to public 
policy, or which relate to matters which could not be discussed 
without anticipating, or seeming to anticipate, the decision of 
the Secretary of State. 

(5) In order to avoid the too frequent exercise of this general power 

of disallowing resolutions certain classes of subjects ought 
to be expressly excluded. In the case of the Provincial 
Councils the proposals of SIR GEORGE CHESNEY'S Committee 
referred to above seem to be suitable. In the Imperial Coun- 
cil the admissible range of discussion is necessarily larger, 
and it is less easy to define its limits precisely. For the 
present we think it sufficient to say that some subjects must 
be specially excluded, and that the question, which those 
should be, can be best settled later on when the rules of 
business are drawn up. 

(6) It will also be necessary to place some limitation upon the time 

allotted to the discussion of resolutions. 

60. Power to ask questions. The right of asking questions 
in the Legislative Councils, subject to certain conditions and 
restrictions, was conceded by the Indian Councils Act of 1892. 
We recommend that it should be extended to the enlarged 
Councils which we propose for the Punjab and Burma. We 
do not suggest any alteration in the rules governing the 
subject. 

61. The discussion of the budget. Under this head it was 
proposed in our published letter of 24th August, 1907 that the 
budget should be explained by heads or groups of heads by 
the members in charge of departments, and should be discussed 
in the same way by the other members, and that this discussion 

33 



258 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

should be followed by a general debate conducted on the same 
lines as at present. No method was suggested of enabling the 
non-official members to exercise any influence on the actual settle- 
ment of the items. The opinions received do not throw much 
light on the question, how the Government can give the Councils 
an effective share in the financial administration of India, 
without surrendering any essential principle, or parting with 
the right of original initiative and ultimate control. The 
Governments of Madras, Bombay, Bengal, the United Provinces, 
and the Punjab put forward, in more or less detail, proposals 
for holding informal conferences with the non-official members 
of the Legislative Council, when the first edition of the provin- 
cial budget has been prepared, and thus eliciting criticisms and 
suggestions which might be considered when the second edition 
comes to be settled. The Bombay Government claim a greater 
degree of financial independence, and they and other Govern- 
ments argue that, so long as the provincial budget requires 
the previous sanction of the Government of India the discussions 
in the full Councils can deal only with settled facts, since no 
alterations can be introduced by the local Government in 
consequence of anything that may be said in the public debate. 
All Governments approve of discussion by heads as proposed 
in the published letter. No Government suggests any plan 
for enabling the full Council to debate and vote upon specific 
assignments of funds. The non-official critics either demand 
the power of moving amendments to any items of the budget, 
or express general approval of the Government of India's 
proposals. 

62. We are clearly of opinion that it is advisable that the 
Councils should be afforded increased facilities for expressing 
their views upon the budget, and that these facilities should be 
given at a sufficiently early stage to enable the Government 
to take advantage of any advice that may be tendered, and to 
adopt and give effect to such suggestions as may be found 
practicable. The ultimate control must, however, rest with the 
Government, and no useful purpose would be served by 
affecting to ignore this essential fact. It is the Government, 
and not the Council, that decides any question arising on the 
budget, and the utmost concession that can be made is to give 
the Council ample opportunities of making recommendations 
to the Government in respect of particular items. But, without 
departing from this principle, we think that the Council may 
properly be empowered to record its opinion by vote on the 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 259 

greater part of the budget proposals. The Indian public have 
long desired an opportunity of this kind, and we think that 
the time has come when it may properly be given in the 
manner and to the extent which we shall presently explain. 
In our letter to local Governments we did not put forward any 
plan by which members of Legislative Councils could vote on 
the budget, but we are anxious to meet the public demand, 
and we trust that our proposals in the matter, both in regard 
to the Imperial and to the Provincial Councils, may obtain 
your Lordship's approval. 

63. The imperial Budget. These being the general ob- 
jects which we have in view, we believe that they may be 
attained in the case of the Imperial budget by laying down 
that the financial statement shall be presented during the 
last five days in February ; and that the final discussion of the 
budget shall take place not more than four weeks later. There 
are very strong reasons for being particular about dates ; and 
we need not enter here into the arrangements which will be 
necessary in order to admit of the budget being opened three 
weeks in advance of the usual time. The figures will be less 
accurate than they are now, and a considerable part of the 
detailed explanations which are now appended to the financial 
statement will have to be dropped. The Finance Member's 
speech will necessarily be more general in its tone, and will 
not describe the figures of expenditure with the same preci- 
sion. This disadvantage will, in our opinion, be amply counter- 
balanced by the fact that the earlier presentation of the 
budget will enable the Government to obtain the views of the 
Council on their financial proposals at a stage when it will still 
be possible to act upon their advice. On the presentation of the 
financial statement, it will be convenient for the Council to 
resolve itself into Committee for the discussion of the budget by 
blocks. It should be a committee of the whole Council, with a 
member of the Government in the chair ; and the first meeting 
should take place not later than one week after the day on 
which the budget is presented. The Committee should sit from 
day to day until its work is complete ; and there should be a rule 
requiring it to finish its business on or before the loth of 
March ; since it is essential that the final corrections should all 
be known in good time to get the budget, with its supple- 
mentary tables and notes, into the shape in which it is to be 
finally presented. 

64. For the purpose of discussion in Committee the major 



260 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

heads or groups of heads would be taken up in order, the dis- 
cussion being opened with an explanatory speech by the 
Member of the Executive Council who controls the depart- 
ments concerned, or, if so arranged, by another member on his 
behalf. Each member would then be at liberty to move a re- 
solution, in the form of a recommendation to the Government, 
relating to the figures in any heads or group, two days' notice 
being given in each case. The Council would divide upon any 
resolutions which were pressed ; and the result would be duly 
recorded. But the Government would not be bound to take 
action upon any resolution, either in whole or part. Power 
should be vested in the chairman to close the discussion upon 
any head or group, when he thinks that it cannot be continued 
with advantage, and there should be a time limit for individual 
speeches. Here, as in paragraph 62 above, we desire to lay 
stress on the condition that the resolutions should be in the 
form of recommendations to the Government, as indicating 
that the power of passing the budget is vested, not in the 
Council, but in the Executive Government. This is not a mere 
verbal refinement ; it denotes a constitutional fact ; and it has 
the further advantage of avoiding any objection that may be 
taken to the scheme on the basis of the English rule that all 
proposals for the increase of expenditure must be initiated 
by the Crown. If it is necessary for us to support our proposals 
by a reference to Parliamentary practice, the requisite 
analogy is to be found in the right of the House of Commons 
to submit an address to the Crown recommending certain 
expenditure. 

65. When the Council sitting in Committee has com- 
pleted its labours, it will be for the Government to decide what 
alterations, if any, should be made in the budget as a result of 
the discussion. These would be carried out in the estimates 
at once. At the adjourned meeting of the Council, the Finance 
Member would submit the budget in its final form, along with 
a formal report of the proceedings in Committee. This oppor- 
tunity would be taken to explain briefly why Government had 
been unable to accept any resolutions that were carried in 
Committee. After the Finance Member's speech, a general 
discussion would follow ; but at this stage no further resolutions 
would be admissible. The Finance Member would make a 
general reply and the Viceroy would sum up the debate ; where- 
upon the budget would come into effect. 

66. The Provincial Budgets, In preparing its provincial 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1 908. 26 1 

budget, a local Government has no anxieties about ways and 
means in the wider sense of that term. Its surplus or deficit 
is absorbed in the general balances of India. It is not affected 
by remissions of taxation, for the effects of which the Imperial 
exchequer provides full compensation. Its sole concern is to 
keep the demands of its departments within its estimated re- 
venue, without drawing unduly upon the provincial balance. 
In our opinion it is in this task that the Provincial Council 
may suitably assist the local Government. Nor ought such 
assistance to be unwelcome. For a local Government at budget 
time is flooded with proposals for new expenditure, and purely 
departmental efficiency may sometimes push aside more 
genuine needs. It is not, of course, suggested that the inter- 
vention of the Provincial Council will ensure an infallible 
judgment between conflicting claims. But it will put the pro- 
posals on their defence ; it will enlist some outside knowledge 
of local interests ; and it will give the non-official members a 
substantial share in the preparation of the budget. 

67. What we propose for adoption is a procedure in four 
stages. The first stage is the rough draft of the provincial 
estimates. In this the local Government would include all pro- 
jects for new expenditure in excess of Rs. 5,000 which are put 
forward by the different departments, provided that they are 
covered by administrative sanction, and that there is no prima 
facie objection to them. All such projects would be listed in a 
schedule, which would consist of two parts. In part I the local 
Governments would place those items for which it considers that 
provision must be made in order to carry on a scheme already 
in hand, or in pursuance of orders from the Government of India 
or the Secretary of State, or to meet an urgent administrative 
need. All other items, not ear-marked above, would be put in 
part II of the schedule. The draft budget, with this schedule 
of new expenditure, would then be submitted to the Govern- 
ment of India. Now it is manifest that an estimate of expen- 
diture prepared on these lines is certain to exceed what the 
province can afford. It would rest therefore with the Govern- 
ment of India, after correcting the estimate of revenue and the 
opening balance v which it always has to do at present), to de- 
termine, in consultation with the local Government, the aggre- 
gate expenditure for which the provincial budget should pro- 
vide ; but the detailed correction of the expenditure estimates 
which is now undertaken in the Finance Department would be 
dispensed with. The alterations in the revenue figures, and the 



262 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

figure of total expenditure, as fixed by the Government of India, 
would then be communicated to the local Government. The 
Government of India would also reserve the power we consider 
this essential to alter or add to part I of the schedule. 

68. The second stage would bring the Provincial Council 
upon the scene. We are inclined to think that the work would 
be better done by a select committee than by the more unwieldy 
body of the whole Council. We accordingly recommend the 
appointment of a standing Finance Committee of the Council, 
numbering not more than 12 : in the smaller Councils 8, or 
even 6, might suffice 

There would be an equal number of officials and non- 
officials. The latter might be elected by the non-official mem- 
bers of the Council, once a year, by ballot or as directed by 
rules. The officials would be nominated by the local Govern- 
ment, and would be selected mainly for their capacity to 
represent the bigger spending departments. The Financial 
Secretary (or, in Madras and Bombay, the Member of Council 
who has charge of the Financial Department) would be chair- 
man, with a casting vote. Most local Governments have pro- 
posed a procedure substantially on these lines ; and the recent 
action of the Government of Madras and Bengal in appointing 
Committees of their Councils to consider the budget informally 
has been received with general approval. 

69. On receipt of the Government of India's orders on its 
draft budget, the local Government would at once convene this 
Committee, place all the papers before it, and instruct it to 
revise part II of the schedule in such a manner as to bring the 
total estimates of expenditure down to the figure sanctioned by 
the Government of India. The proceedings of the Committee 
would be private and informal. Discussion would be free, and 
the decisions would go by the vote of the majority. Where 
items were disputed, the officer representing the department 
concerned would be heard in their support, their urgency would 
be compared with that of items supported by other departments, 
and the Committee would then vote upon them on their merits. 
On occasion, the Committee might decide to insert in the 
budget a project which had not appeared in the original 
estimate ; and to this there appears to be no objection, if the 
scheme were one for which administrative sanction existed, or 
which the local Government were prepared to support. On the 
conclusion of its work, the Committee would report the 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 263 

corrections in part II which it considered necessary, in order to 
bring the total budget expenditure within the figure sanctioned 
by the Government of India. After considering the Committee's 
proposals the local Government would revise its expenditure 
estimates, make any alteration in the revenue estimates, which 
the progress of actuals might suggest, and report the figures 
which it decided to accept under both heads to the Government 
of India for incorporation in the Imperial budget. 

70. The third stage would begin with the presentation of 
the estimates as a whole to the Provincial Council. On 
receiving the second edition of the estimates, as explained in the 
last paragraph, the Government of India would make no further 
changes on the expenditure side, unless, in the exercise of a 
power which they must always reserve, they found it necessary 
to direct a general reduction of expenditure in consequence of 
any exceptional strain on either the Imperial or the Provincial 
resources. But they would bring the revenue figures up to date, 
give effect to any taxation proposals affecting the budget, and 
insert any special grants for the province which the Secretary 
of State might have sanctioned out of the Imperial surplus. 
They would then, in accordance with the present practice, 
compile the figures and incorporate them in the Imperial 
financial statement. An abstract of the figures, as thus settled, 
would be communicated to the local Government on the day 
when the Imperial budget is opened. The local Government 
would at once print up its budget, and call a meeting of its 
Provincial Council, when the budget would be formally present- 
ed by the official in charge, with a speech describing its general 
purport. 

71. The best method of conducting the consideration of 
the budget would be for the Council to sit as a Committee, 
This would allow of greater freedom of debate, and it would 
permit the head of the province to leave the chair and to put 
one of the official members in charge. In Committee, each head 
or group of heads would be taken up separately. The figures 
would be explained by the official member who represents the 
administrative department concerned. Any member would 
then be at liberty to move a resolution, in the form of a recom- 
mendation to the local Government, regarding any entry in the 
head or group under discussion, and the resolution would be 
debated and put to the vote. The opportunity would be taken 
by the official members to move any addition to the estimate of 



264 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

expenditure in consequence of an Imperial grant, or any reduc- 
tion in consequence of a specific direction from the Government 
of India to curtail expenditure. All resolutions carried by a 
majority of votes would be reported to the local Government ; 
but it would be entirely at their discretion to accept any such 
resolution in whole or in part, or to reject it. In order to allow 
sufficient time to have the provincial figures incorporated in the 
Imperial budget before the latter is prepared in its final form, it 
would be necessary to close the discussion in Council by a 
certain date. Rules would have to be framed for this purpose. 

72. The fourth stage would commence as soon as the 
Council sitting in Committee had finished with the budget. The 
local Government would then consider what alterations, if any, 
were to be made as the result of the discussion. Without the 
Government of India's sanction, it would not be competent to 
change the revenue figures or to increase the total figure of 
expenditure as formerly settled by that Government. But it 
might, if it so desired with reference to the Committee's recom- 
mendations, vary the distribution of the expenditure in detail. 
The figures as finally altered would be telegraphed to the 
Government of India, and the final edition of the Provincial 
budget would then be compiled and printed. This would be 
presented by the member in charge at an adjourned meeting of 
the Council along with a report of the Committee's proceedings. 
He would describe any changes that had been made in the 
figures, and explain why any resolutions of the Committee had 
not been accepted by the local Government. 

A debate would follow ; but no resolution or voting would 
be permitted. 

73. Subjects for discussion. In regulating the new system 
of discussion, whether in the Imperial or Provincial Councils, 
one of the first points for consideration is the range of subjects 
on which resolutions and voting will be permitted. Since we 
propose taking our stand on the practice of the House of 
Commons, to lay down that no recommendation will be binding 
upon the Government, the limits within which resolutions may 
be proposed can be very materially enlarged without running 
any risk of causing embarrassment or misunderstanding. It is 
clearly imperative, however, on grounds of public policy, that 
certain items both of revenue and of expenditure should be 
excluded from debate ; and we annex to this despatch a 
schedule showing what heads of the Imperial and Provincial 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH 1908. 265 

budgets we consider should be thus reserved. We desire to 
draw attention to the large number of items which we have 
left open to discussion, and the comparatively small number 
which we propose to exclude. The grounds for exclusion are 
various. Some items both of revenue and expenditure are 
fixed by law, and the proper method of proposing any alteration 
of them is the introduction of a bill. Most of the political 
heads are governed by treaties or engagements with which the 
Councils have no concern ; the debt heads depend upon con- 
tracts which cannot be altered ; and military and ecclesias- 
tical charges raise far-reaching questions of policy which it 
would be inexpedient to discuss, and impossible to put to the 
vote. Finally, it is obvious that the Imperial Council can only 
disscuss with advantage the revenue and expenditure which is 
under the administration of the Government of India, while a 
Provincial Council must equally be restricted to items subject 
to the control of the local Government. In addition to these 
specific reservations, which we have endeavoured to make as 
few as possible, it will be necessary to impose some further 
restrictions upon resolutions with the object of preserving the 
business character of the debate and of restricting it, as far as 
possible, to the financial aspects of the budget. The discussion 
of the budget by heads is intended to deal with the settlement 
of the figures, and generalities having no direct bearing on this 
point should be ruled out as irrelevant at that stage, and rele- 
gated to the general debate. We apprehend that there will be 
no difficulty in framing a rule which will give to the chairman 
of the Council when sitting as a Committee a general power to 
enforce this necessary distinction. 

74. Effect of budget proposals. Our proposals under this 
head indicate a treatment of the budgets which will maintain 
full power for the Government over ways and means, while 
giving the councils a reasonable share in the settlement of 
expenditure. They will have a marked tendency to promote 
decentralisation, but they will in no way relax the control 
which is exercised by the Secretary of State in Council 
over the expenditure of the revenues of India. They will confer 
on local Governments a larger measure of financial independ- 
ence and will enable them in the exercise of these increased 
powers to avail themselves of the assistance of the Legislative 
Council to an extent which has hitherto been impossible. And, 
both in the Imperial and the Provincial Councils, they will 
place the representives of all classes of the population in a 

34 



266 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

position to take a more effective part in shaping the policy of 
the Government, and to exert a real influence upon the actual 
work of administration. 

General Conclusions. 

75. In framing the proposals, which we now submit to 
your decision, we have given ample consideration to the great 
variety of opinion elicited by our letter of 24th August 1907. 
We readily acknowledge the value of many of the criticisms that 
have reached us, and we believe that no material point has 
escaped our observation. We have accepted in substance 
several important suggestions, and we have introduced into our 
scheme measures of a far more advanced character than have 
hitherto been proposed. We will now sum up the results of our 
deliberations. In accordance with the most authoritative 
opinion we have abandoned the idea of an Imperial Advisory 
Council as originally planned, and have substituted for it a 
Council of Chiefs to be appointed by the Viceroy, and utilized 
by him in the guardianship of common and Imperial interests 
as the demands of the time may require. We have planned 
Provincial Advisory Councils on lines which will enable local 
Governments to avail themselves of the advice and co-operation 
of the leading representatives of the best non-official opinion, 
and we trust that the proposal will commend itself to popular 
feeling, and will satisfy the demand for extended opportunities 
of consultation on matters of local interest. The enlargement 
of the Legislative Councils, and the extension of their functions 
to the discussion of administrative questions, are the widest, 
most deep-reaching and most substantial features of the scheme 
which we now put forward. Taking first the Imperial Legisla- 
tive Council, we propose to raise the total strength of the 
Council, excluding His Excellency the Viceroy, from 24 to 62, 
and to increase the number of non-official members from 10 to 
31, and of elected members from 5 to 28. On all ordinary 
occasions we are ready to dispense with an official majority, and 
to rely upon the public spirit of the non-official members to 
enable us to carry on the necessary work of legislation. We 
have dealt with the Provincial Legislative Councils in an 
equally liberal manner. The total strength of the Council, and 
the numbers of non-official and elected members have in every 
instance, except that of Burma, been more than doubled. In 
all these cases, while giving fuller play to the elective principle, 



GOVERNMENT OF INDIA REFORM DESPATCH, IQoS. 267 

we have also greatly enlarged its range, and have endeavoured 
to afford proportionate representation to all classes that have 
reached a sufficiently high level of education, the land-holders, 
the Mahomedans, the professional middle class, and the com- 
mercial community both Indian and European. To all of them, 
again, we propose to concede the novel right of moving resolu- 
tions, and dividing the Council on administrative questions of 
public and general interest, and of taking part in settling the 
actual figures on the budget, both by informal discussion and 
by bringing forward specific recommendations which will be put 
to the vote. Regarding the scheme as a whole, we consider 
ourselves justified in claiming for it that it will really and 
effectively associate the people of India with the Government 
in the work not only of occasional legislation but of actual every- 
day administration. It is an attempt to give India a constitu- 
tion framed on sufficiently liberal lines to satisfy the legitimate 
aspirations of the most advanced Indians, whilst at the same 
time enlisting the support of the more conservative elements of 
Indian society. We are not without hope that it will be 
accepted by all classes in the spirit in which it has been planned, 
and that it will unite in the common service of India all those, 
whether officials or private individuals, who have her highest 
interests at heart. 

76. In conclusion we have one more observation to make. 
We recognise that the effect of our proposals will be to throw a 
greater burden on the heads of local Governments, not only by 
reason of the actual increase of work caused by the longer 
sittings of the Legislative Councils, but also because there will 
be considerable responsibility in dealing with the recommenda- 
tions of those Councils. It may be that experience will show 
the desirability of strengthening the hands of Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernors in the larger provinces by the creation of Executive 
Councils, as SIR CHARLES AITCHISON suggested in connexion 
with the proposals of 1888, and assisting the Governors of 
Madras and Bombay by enlarging the Councils which now 
exist in those presidencies. But it would be premature to 
discuss these contingencies until experience has been gained of 
the working of the new legislative bodies. The creation of 
Councils with executive functions in provinces in which they 
do not exist would be a large departure from the present sys- 
tem of adminstration, and is a change that could only be recom- 
mended after the fullest consideration, and after consultation 
with the heads of the provinces concerned. 



p. 

DESPATCH FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE (LORD 
MORLEY) TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, No. IQ3 DATED 
LONDON, 2/TH NOVEMBER, 1908. 

I have to acknowledge the important Despatch of the ist 
October 1908, in which I had submitted for approval and 
decision a group of constitutional reforms, framed by Your 
Excellency in Council in pursuance of a policy initiated more 
than two years ago. Your proposals, in their present shape, 
are the outcome of a tentative project placed in August last 
year in the hands of Local Governments in India, with instruc- 
tions to consult important bodies and individuals representa- 
tive of various classes of the community, before putting their 
own conclusions before the Government of India. Those in- 
structions, as you are very evidently justified in assuring me, 
were carried out with great care and thoroughness. After ex- 
amining, moreover, the enormous mass of material gathered 
together in a prolonged operation I gladly recognise the ad- 
mirable industry, patience, thought, and candour, with which 
that material has been sifted by your Government, and worked 
out into practical proposals, liberal in their spirit and compre- 
hensive in their scope. I have taken all the pains demanded 
by their importance to secure special consideration of them in 
Council. It is a sincere satisfaction to me to find myself able 
to accept the substantial part of Your Excellency's scheme, 
with such modifications as would naturally occur to different 
minds, in handling problems of remarkable difficulty in them- 
selves, and reasonably open to a wide variety of solution. 

2. The original proposal of an Imperial Advisory Council 
was based on the interesting and attractive idea of associating 
ruling Chiefs and territorial magnates of British India, in 
guardianship of common and Imperial interests, and as a means 
of promoting more intimate relations among component parts 
of the Indian Empire. The general opinion of those whose 
assent and co-operation would be indispensable has proved 
adverse, and Your Excellency in Council now considers that 
the project should for the present not be proceeded with. 

3. You still favour an Imperial Council composed only of 
ruling Chiefs. LORD LYTTON made an experiment in this 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 269 

direction, but it remained without successful result. LORD 
CURZON afterwards proposed to create a Council composed 
exclusively of Princes contributing Imperial Service Troops, 
and deliberating on that subject exclusively. Opinion pro- 
nounced this also likely to be unfruitful and ineffectual in 
practice. Your Excellency's project is narrower than the first 
of these two expedients, and wider than the second. I confess 
that, while entirely appreciating and sympathising with your 
object, I judge the practical difficulties in the way of such a 
Council assembling under satisfactory conditions, to be consi- 
derable, expense, precedence, housing, for instance, even if 
there were no others. Yet if not definitely constituted with a 
view to assembly, it could possess little or no reality. It would 
obviously be a mistake to push the project, unless it commands 
the clear assent and approval of those whose presence in the 
Council would be essential to its success, and the opinions ex- 
pressed in the replies with which you have furnished me, lead me 
to doubt whether that condition can be secured. But in case 
Your Excellency still favours this proposal, which is in itself 
attractive, I do not wish to express dissent at this stage, and if 
after consultation with the leading Chiefs, you are able to devise 
a scheme that is at once acceptable to them and workable in 
practice, I am not inclined to place any obstacle in the way of 
a full and fair trial. And in any event the doubt I have ex- 
pressed must not be taken as discouraging consultation with in- 
dividual Chiefs, according to existing practice ; for nobody with 
any part to play in Indian Government, can doubt the manifold 
advantages of still further developing not only amicable, but 
confidential relations of this kind, with the loyal rulers in Indian 
States, possessed as they are of such peculiar authority and 
experience. 

4. Next, I agree with Your Excellency in the judgment 
that the question of a Council of Notables for British India only 
should not be entertained. I am inclined furthermore, for my 
own part, to doubt whether the creation of Provincial Advisory 
Councils is likely to prove an experiment of any marked actual 
value. The origin of the demand for bodies of that character, 
whatever the strength of such a demand amounts to, is 
undoubtedly to desire for greater facilities in the discus- 
sion of public measures. Your Excellency indicates what strikes 
me as pointing in a more hopeful direction, in the proposition 
that this claim for increased facilities of discussion should be 
met "rather by extending the powers of the existing Legislative 



270 LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

Councils than by setting up large rival Councils which must to 
some extent conflict with them." Large or small, such rivalry 
would be almost certain to spring up, and, from the first, the 
new species of Council would be suspected as designed to be a 
check upon the old. As in the case of Ruling Chiefs, or of 
Notables in British India, so here too, informal consultation with 
the leading men of a locality would have most or all of the 
advantages of an Advisory Council, without the many obvious 
disadvantages of duplicating political machinery. 

5. From these proposals I pass to what is, and what you 
declared to be, the pith and substance of the Despatch under 
reply. "The enlargement of the Legislative Councils," you say, 
"and the extension of their functions to the discussion of ad- 
ministrative questions, are the widest, most deep-reaching, and 
most substantial features of the scheme, which we now put 
forward." This perfectly correct description evokes and justifies 
the close scrutiny to which these features have been subjected 
in my Council, and I am glad to believe that the result reveals 
few elements of material difference. 

6. Your Government have now felt bound to deal first with 
the Imperial Legislative Council and from that to work down- 
wards to the Councils in the Provinces. I gather, however, from 
your despatch of the 2ist March 1907, that you would at that 
time have preferred, as LORD LANSDOWNE had done in 1892, 
to build up the higher fabric on the foundation of the Provincial 
Councils, In your circular letter of the 24th August, 1907, 
you observed that "the most logical and convenient mode of 
dealing with the question would have been first to discuss and 
settle the composition, the electorates, and the powers of the 
Provincial Legislative Councils, and then to build up, on the 
basis of these materials, a revised constitution for the Imperial 
Council." In the absence of proposals from Local Governments 
and Administrations, you were precluded from adopting this 
course ; and, therefore, you set tentatively before them the line 
on which, first, the Legislative Council of the Governor-General, 
and thereafter those of Governors and Lieutenant-Governors, 
might be constituted, 

7. In your present letter you have followed the same 
order. But with the full materials before me such as are now 
supplied by local opinions, it appears to be both more conveni- 
ent and, as you said, more logical to begin with the Provincial 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 271 

Councils, and afterwards to consider the constitution of the 
Legislative Council of the Governor-General. 

8. The first question that arises touches the principle of 
representation. This is fully discussed in paragraphs 18 to 20, 
26 to 3 1, and 34 of your letter. Citing previous discussions of the 
subject, and referring to the precedent of the measures taken 
to give effect to the Statute of 1892, you adhere to the opinion 
that in the circumstances of India "representation by classes 
and interests is the only practicable method of embodying the 
elective principle in the constitution of the Indian Legislative 
Councils" (paragraph 18). You justly observe that "the principle 
to be borne in mind is that election by the wishes of the people 
is the ultimate object to be secured, whatever may the actual 
machinery adopted for giving effect to it", (paragraph 29). You 
consider that for certain limited interests (Corporations of 
Presidency towns, Universities, Chambers of Commerce, 
Planting Communities and the like) limited electorates must 
exist as at present ; and you foresee no serious obstacle in 
carrying out arrangements for that purpose. Difficulties come 
into view, when you go beyond these limited electorates and 
have to deal with large and widespread interests or communities, 
such as the landholding and professional classes ; or with 
important minorities, such as Mahomedans in most provinces 
in India, and Sikhs in the Punjab. You dwell upon the great 
variety of conditions in the various provinces of the Indian 
Empire, and the impossibility of applying any uniform system 
throughout ; and your conclusion generally appears to be that 
class electorates should be framed where this is practicable and 
likely to lead to good results, and in their failure or defect, it 
will be necessary to have recourse to nomination. 

9. With the general principles advanced by Your Excel- 
lency in this chapter of our discussion, I am in entire accord. 
I agree that, to some extent, class representation must be 
maintained in the limited electorates to which you refer ; and 
here, as you point out, no serious obstacle is to be anticipated. 
I agree, also, that the Legislative Council should reflect the 
leading elements of the population at large, and that no system 
of representation would be satisfactory, if it did not provide for 
the presence in the Councils of sufficient representatives of 
communities so important as are the Mahomedans and the 
landed classes. But in examining your plans for obtaining 
their representation, I am struck with the difficulty of securing 



272 LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

satisfactory electoral bodies under them, and, with the extent 
to which, as you expect, nomination will be demanded to 
supply the deficiencies of election. The same awkwardness 
and perplexity appear in obtaining satisfactory representation 
of the Indian commercial classes, where, as is found generally 
throughout India with very few exceptions, they have not 
established Associations or Chambers to represent their inter- 
ests. 

10. The case of landholders is discussed in paragraphs 27 
to 29 of your letter, with immediate reference to the Imperial 
Legislative Council, and the situation is just the same if sepa- 
rate representation is to be secured for local Councils. You 
" find it impossible to make any definite proposal which would 
admit of general application." (Tara. 27); you see difficulties 
in devising a constituency that should consist only of land- 
holders deriving a certain income from land (Para. 28) ; and 
you point out with much force the objections to election by 
voluntary Associations. In these observations I agree, and 
especially in your remark that the recognition of Associations 
as electoral agencies should be regarded as a provisional ar- 
rangement to be maintained only until some regular electorate 
can be formed. 

n. The same difficulties, as you observe in paragraph 30, 
encounter the proposal to have a special electorate for Maho- 
medans. In some Provinces, as in Bombay, the Mahomedans 
are so scattered, that common organisation for electoral pur- 
poses is thought impracticable. In other Provinces it is pro- 
posed to found a scheme partly on a property qualification and 
partly on a literary attainment ; in others, again, it is suggested 
that recourse might be had to voluntary associations. One 
difficulty in regard to Mahomedans is not mentioned in your 
letter ; for the provision in any Province of a special electorate 
giving them a definite proportion of the seats on the Councils 
might involve the refusal to them in that Province of a right 
to vote in the territorial electorates of which rural and Muni- 
cipal Boards will afford the basis. If that were not done, they 
would evidently have a double vote, and this would probably 
be resented by other classes of the population. 

12. Without rejecting the various expedients suggested 
by Your Excellency for adoption, in order to secure the ade- 
quate representation of these important classes on the Councils, 
I suggest for your consideration that the object in view might 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 273 

be better secured, at any rate in the more advanced Provinces 
in India, by a modification of the system of a popular electorate, 
founded on the principle of Electoral Colleges. The use of this 
method is not in itself novel ; it already exists in the groups of 
District Boards and of Municipalities which, in several Pro- 
vinces, return members to the Provincial Councils. The elec- 
tion is not committed to the Boards or Municipalities directly; 
these bodies choose electors, who then proceed to elect the 
representative of the group. I will briefly describe the scheme 
that at present commends itself to me, and in order to make 
the method of working clear I will assume hypothetical figures 
for a given Province. Let it be supposed that the total popu- 
lation of the Province is 20 millions, of whom 15 millions are 
Hindus and 5 millions Mahomedans, and the number of mem- 
bers to be elected 12. Then, since the Hindus are to Maho- 
medans as three to one, nine Hindus should be elected to three 
Mahomedans. In order to obtain these members, divide the 
Province into three electoral areas, in each of which three 
Hindus and one Mahomedan are to be returned. Then, in 
each of these areas, constitute an Electoral College, consisting 
of, let us say, a hundred members. In order to preserve the 
proportion between the two religions, 75 of these should be 
Hindus and 25 Mahomedans. This Electoral College should 
be obtained by calling upon the various electorates, which 
might be (a} substantial land-owners paying not less than a 
fixed amount of land-revenue ; (b) the members of rural or sub- 
divisional Boards ; (c) the members of District Boards ; and (d) 
the members of Municipal Corporations, to return to it such 
candidates as they desired, a definite number being alloted to 
each electorate. Out of those offering themselves and obtaining 
votes, the 75 Hindus who obtained the majority of votes should 
be declared members of the College, and the 25 Musalmans 
who obtained the majority should similarly be declared elected. 
If the Musalmans returned did not provide 25 members for 
the Electoral College, the deficiency would be made good by 
nomination. Having thus obtained an Electoral College con- 
taining 75 Hindus and 25 Musalmans, that body would be 
called upon to elect three representatives for the Hindus and one 
for the Mahomedans ; each member of the College would have 
only one vote and could vote for only one candidate. In this 
way it is evident that it would be in the power of each section 
of the population to return a member in the proportion corres- 
ponding to its own proportion to the total population. 

35 



274 LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 

In the same way the desired proportion could be obtained 
of any representatives of any particular interest, as, for ins- 
tance, of landowners. All that is necessary would be to cons- 
titute the Electoral College in such a way that the number of 
electors representing the land-owning interest should bear to 
the total number the same proportion as the members of Coun- 
cil representing that interest to be elected bear to the total 
number to be elected. 

13. In this manner, minorities would be protected against 
exclusion by majorities, and all large and important sections 
of the population would have the opportunity of returning mem- 
bers in proportion to their ratio to the total population. Their 
choice could in that event be exercised in the best possible way, 
that, namely, of popular election, instead of requiring Govern- 
ment to supply deficiencies by the dubious method of nomina- 
tion. 

14. I do not wish definitely to prescribe such a scheme 
for adoption, whether locally or universally, but I commend 
it to your consideration. It appears to offer an expedient by 
which the objections against a system of nomination may be 
avoided, and it would work through a choice freely exercised 
by the electorate at large, instead of by artificial electorates 
specially constituted for the purpose. No doubt it removes the 
primary voter by more than one stage from the ultimate choice ; 
and it does not profess to be simple. I can only say that it 
is quite as simple as any scheme for representation of minorities 
can ever be. The system of a single vote, which is an essential 
part of it, is said to work satisfactorily in places where it is 
already in existence, and it is easy of apprehension by the 
electors. It would have several great advantages. It would 
bring the classes specially concerned within the popular elec- 
torate, and so meet the criticisms of the Hindus, to which you 
refer in paragraph 30 ; second, it establishes a principle that 
would be an answer to further claims for representation by 
special classes or associations ; third, it would ensure the 
persons chosen being actually drawn from the locality that 
the Electoral College represents ; fourth, it would provide a 
healthy stimulus to interest in local self-government by linking 
up local bodies (Rural and Municipal Boards) more closely with 
the Provincial Legislative Councils. To this end it might be 
provided that the candidate for election to the Provincial 
Council must himself have taken part in local administration. 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1 908. 2/5 

15. The due representation of the Indian mercantile 
community, on which you touch in paragraph 31 of your letter, 
might be included in the scheme, if the commercial classes fail 
to organise themselves, as you suggest that they may arrange 
to do, in Associations similar to the European Chambers of 
Commerce. 

16. To meet possible objections founded on the difficulty 
of bringing together Electoral Colleges to vote in one place, 
I may add that this is not contemplated in the scheme. You 
refer, at the close of paragraph 28, to the success of the Calcutta 
University in organising the election of Fellows by a large 
number of graduates scattered all over India. The votes of 
the electors in each College could, I imagine, be collected in 
the same manner without requiring them to assemble at a 
common centre. 

17. From the electoral structure, I now turn to the official 
element in the constitution of Provincial Legislative Councils, 
dealt with in paragraphs 33 to 56 of your letter. I first observe 
that in all of them you provide for a bare official majority, but 
you contemplate that in ordinary circumstances, only the 
number of official members necessary for the transaction of 
business shall be summoned to attend. The first question, there- 
fore, is the necessity of maintaining in these Councils the 
majority of officials. 

1 8. We have before us, to begin with, the leading fact 
that in the important Province of Bombay there is in the 
Council, as at present composed, no official majority, and that 
the Bombay Government, even in the smaller of its alter- 
native schemes presented to Your Excellency in Council, is 
willing to dispense with such a majority. Considering the 
character of the legislation ordinarily coming before a Provincial 
Council, is it not possible, with due representation given to the 
various classes and interests in the community, to do without 
a majority of officials ? After careful consideration, I have 
come to the conclusion that in Provincial Councils such a 
majority may be dispensed with, provided that a substantial 
official majority is permanently maintained in the Imperial 
Legislative Council. 

19. I do not conceal from myself the risks in such an 
arrangement. The non-official majority may press legislation 
of a character disapproved by the Executive Government. 
This should be met by the exercise of the power to withhold 



276 LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

assent, possessed by the head of the Government. Then, al- 
though the Local Legislature is vested with power to make 
laws for the peace and good government of the territories 
constituting the Province, still the range of subjects is consider- 
ably narrowed by the statutory exclusions now in force. Thus, 
for example, the Local Legislature may not, without the 
previous sanction of the Governor-General, make or take into 
consideration any law affecting the Public Debt of India, or 
the customs duties, or any other tax or duty for the time being 
in force, and imposed by the authority of the Governor-General 
in Council for the general purposes of the Government of India ; 
or regulating currency or postal or telegraph business ; or 
altering in any way the Indian Penal Code ; or affecting reli- 
gion or religious rites or usages ; or affecting the discipline or 
maintenance of Naval or Military forces ; or dealing with 
patents or copyrights, or the relations of the Government with 
foreign Princes or States. 

It is difficult to see how any measure of such urgency, that 
delay might work serious mischief, can come before a Provin- 
cial Council ; for, mere opposition to a useful and beneficial 
project would not come within this description. On the 
other hand, and perhaps more often, there may be opposition 
on the part of the non-official Members to legislation that the 
Government desires. With a Council, however, representing 
divergent interests, and realising, together with its increased 
powers, its greater responsibility, a combination of all the non- 
official members to resist a measure proposed by the Govern- 
ment would be unlikely, and some non-officials at least would 
probably cast their votes on the side of the Government. If, 
however, a combination of all the non-official members against 
the Government were to occur, that might be a very good 
reason for thinking that the proposed measure was really open 
to objection, and should not be proceeded with. 

20. Your Excellency will recall, since you came into the 
authority of Governor-General, an Act proposed by a Local 
Government which a representative Legislative Council would 
almost certainly have rejected. Your Excellency's action in 
withholding assent from the Act shows that, in your judgment, 
it would have been an advantage if the Local Government 
had been induced by a hostile vote to reconsider their Bill. 
If, in spite of such hostile vote, the comparatively rare case 
should arise where immediate legislation were still thought 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 277 

absolutely necessary, then the Constitution, as it at present 
stands, provides an adequate remedy. The Governor-General 
in Council to-day possesses a concurrent power to legislate 
for any Province, and though I strongly favour a policy that 
would leave to each Local Legislature the duty of providing 
for its own requirements, still I recognise in this power an ample 
safe-guard, should, under exceptional circumstances, a real de- 
mand for its exercise arise. 

21. This decision will make it necessary to modify to 
some extent the constitution of the several Provincial Councils 
proposed by you, and will enable you to secure a wider repre- 
sentation. Subject to consideration of these details (which will 
not involve the postponement of the proposed Parliamentary 
legislation for the amendment of the Indian Councils Act, 1892, 
and for other purposes), I am ready to accept generally the 
proposals for numbers and the constitution of the Councils set 
forth in your letter. 

22. Your proposals in relation to the Imperial Legislative 
Council are necessarily entitled to the greatest weight. I am 
glad to find myself able to accept them practically in their en- 
tirety. While I desire to liberalise as far as possible the Pro- 
vincial Councils, I recognise that it is an essential condition 
of this policy that the Imperial supremacy shall be in no degree 
compromised. I must, therefore, regard it as essential that 
Your Excellency's Council, in its legislative as well as its 
executive character, should continue to be so constituted as to 
ensure its constant and uninterrupted power to fulfil the cons- 
titutional obligations that it owes, and must always owe, to His 
Majesty's Government and to the Imperial Parliament. I see 
formidable drawbacks that have certainly not escaped Your 
Excellency to the expedient which you propose, and I cannot 
regard with favour the power of calling into play an official 
majority while seeming to dispense with it. I am unable to 
persuade myself that to import a number of gentlemen, to vote 
down something upon which they may or may not have heard 
the arguments, will prove satisfactory. To secure the re- 
quired relations, I am convinced that a permanent official 
majority in the Imperial Legislative Council is absolutely neces- 
sary, and this must outweigh the grave disadvantages that 
induce us to dispense with it in the Provincial Legislatures. 
It need not be in any sense an overwhelming majority, and 
this Your Excellency does not seek ; but it must be substan- 



278 LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908, 

tial, as it is certainly desirable that the Governor-General 
should be removed from the conflict of the division list, and 
that the fate of any measure or resolution should not rest on 
his vote alone. 

23. I have already dealt in the earlier paragraphs of this 
Despatch with the elective principle, and it will be for Your 
Excellency to consider how far the popular electorate can be 
utilised for the return to your Legislative Council of landholders 
and Mahomedans. Some modifications of the scheme sug- 
gested for the Provinces will no doubt be necessary and the 
Electoral Colleges would probably have to be on the basis of 
Provinces and not of Divisions, and the case of the Central Pro- 
vinces would probably (in view of the disappearance of Ad- 
visory Councils) have to be met by nomination until a Local 
Legislature is provided. 

24. I accept your proposals for securing the representation 
of commerce, both European and Indian. 

25. I also agree to your proposals as to nomination, but it 
will be a matter for your consideration whether, to meet the 
requirement of a substantial official majority, the number of 
nominated officials should not be raised. 

26. Your plan for securing occasional representation for 
the interests of minorities such as the Sikhs, the Parsis, the 
Indian Christians, the Buddhists, and the Domiciled Commu- 
nity meets with my entire approval, and I am in complete 
sympathy with your intention sometimes to appoint one or two 
experts in connection with legislation pending before Council. 

27. I turn to the proposals contained in paragraphs 57-59 
of your Despatch affording further facilities for debate. This 
subject, as Your Excellency remarks, was not dealt with in the 
earlier correspondence out of which your present proposals 
arise ; but I am entirely in accord with Your Excellency's Gov- 
ernment in regarding it as of cardinal importance. 

28. The existing law, which confines discussion, except on 
the occasion of the Annual Financial Statement, to the Legis- 
lative proposals actually before the Council, imposes a restric- 
tion, that I am convinced, is no longer either desirable or neces- 
sary. The plan of Your Excellency's Government contem- 
plates a wide relaxation of this restriction, and in sanctioning 
it generally, I am confident that these increased facilities, judi- 
ciously used, will be pronounced of the greatest advantage, not 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 279 

only by Councils and those whom they represent, but also by 
Government who will gain additional opportunities both of 
becoming acquainted with the drift of public opinion and of 
explaining their own actions. 

29. Taking the proposals in detail, I agree that the Reso- 
lutions to be moved should take the form of recommendations 
to Government, having only such force and effect as Govern- 
ment after consideration shall deem due to them. The intro- 
duction and discussion of Resolutions should not extend to 
subjects removed from the cognizance of Legislative Councils 
by Statute, and must obviously be subject to rules and restric- 
tions. These, as Your Excellency observes, may best be laid 
down, in the first place, when the rules of business are drawn 
up, and developed thereafter as experience may show to be 
desirable. Meanwhile, I agree generally with the conditions 
suggested in paragraph 59 of your Despatch. . I must, however, 
remark upon the first of the suggested conditions that isolated 
incidents of administration, or personal questions, may be, and 
often are, at the same time matters of public and general 
importance. It would, in my opinion, be sufficient to lay down 
that Resolutions must relate to matters of public and general 
importance, inasmuch as the President of the Council will have 
the power of deciding finally whether any proposed Resolution 
does, or does not, satisfy this condition. 

30. In respect of rules on the asking of questions, I have 
come to the conclusion that, subject to such restriction as may 
be found requisite in practice, and to the existing general 
powers of the President, the asking of supplementary questions 
should be allowed. Without these, a system of formal ques- 
tions met by formal replies must inevitably tend to become 
unreal and ineffective, and in an assembly in which, under 
proper safeguards, free discussion and debate is permitted and 
encouraged, there can be no sufficient reason for prohibiting 
that method of eliciting information and expressing indirectly 
the opinions and wishes of the questioners. 

31. Special importance attaches to rules as to the dis- 
cussion of the Imperial Budget and I recognise with much 
satisfaction the liberality of the proposals that you have placed 
before me. The changes under this head constitute a notable 
step in the direction of giving to the representatives of Indian 
opinion a part in the most important administrative operation 
of the political year. I approve the dates suggested for the 



28o LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

promulgation of the Financial Statement and for the beginning 
and ending of its discussion in Committee, and I anticipate 
valuable results from the knowledge which your Government 
will acquire in these debates of the views of those whom the 
proposed measures will chiefly and directly affect, and which it 
will be able to utilise in shaping its final financial proposals for 
the year. Generally, also, I approve the rules sketched in 
paragraph 64 for the regulation of discussions in Committee 
and of the moving of Resolutions ; and I concur in your opinion 
that the form of procedure should be such as to show clearly that 
the power of executive action resides exclusively in Govern- 
ment, who, while inviting the free expression of opinion in the 
form of Resolutions do not thereby forego any part of the 
power and responsibility which has been, and must continue to 
be, in their hands. 

32. Your proposals for the discussion of the Provincial 
Budgets seem entirely sound. As in the case of the Imperial 
Budget, so with respect to the Provincial Finances, I observe 
with satisfaction that provision is made for full and free discus- 
sion and for the consideration by Government of the results of 
such discussion before the final proposals for the year are 
framed ; and I believe that under the system suggested by you 
the Local Governments will retain that ultimate control over 
the financial policy of their Provinces, without which not only 
the authority of the Government of India but also that of the 
Secretary of State in Council and of Parliament would inevit- 
ably disappear. 

33. Your Excellency claims for your scheme as a whole, 
"that it will really and effectively associate the people of India 
in the work not only of occasional legislation, but of actual 
every-day administration." The claim is abundantly justified ; 
yet the scheme is not and hardly pretends to be, a complete 
representation of the entire body of changes and improvements 
in the existing system, that are evidently present to the minds 
of some of those whom your Government has consulted and that, 
to the best of my judgment, are now demanded by the situation 
described in the opening words of the Despatch. It is evidently 
desirable, Your Excellency will agree, to present our reformed 
constitutional system as a whole. From this point of view, 
it seems necessary to attempt without delay an effectual 
advance in the direction of local self-government. 

The principles that should inspire and regulate measures 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 281 

with this aim can hardly be laid down in sounder or clearer 
terms than in the Resolution published by the Government of 
India on the i8th May, 1882. I do not know where to look 
for a better expression of the views that should govern our 
policy under this important head, and I will venture to quote 
some passages in this memorable deliverance. Explaining 
the proposal for local self-government of that date the Govern- 
ment of India place themselves on ground which may well be 
our ground also. "It is not primarily," they say, "with a view 
to improvement in administration that this measure is put 
forward and supported. It is chiefly desirable as an instru- 
ment of political and popular education." And again, "there 
appears to be great force in the argument that, so long as the 
chief Executive officers are, as a matter of course, Chairmen 
of the Municipal and District Committees there is little chance 
of these Committees affording any effective training to their 
members in the management of local affairs, or of the non- 
official members taking any real interest in local business. The 
non-official members must be led to feel that real power is 
placed in their hands and that they have real responsibilities to 
discharge." This anticipation has been, to some extent, war- 
ranted by experience. Funds have not existed for an efficient 
executive staff. The official element within the local bodies 
has been in many places predominant. Non-official members 
have not been induced, to such an extent as was hoped, to take 
a real interest in local business, because, their powers and their 
responsibilities were not real. If local self-government has so 
far been no marked success as a training ground, it is mainly 
for the reason that the constitution of the local bodies departed 
from what was affirmed in the Resolution to be "the true princi- 
ple," that "the control should be exercised from without rather 
than from within, the Government should revise and check the 
acts of local bodies, but not dictate them." I make no doubt 
that the Government of India to day will affirm and actively 
shape their policy upon the principle authoritatively set forth 
by their predecessors in 1882 : "It would be hopeless to ex- 
pect any real development of self-government if the local 
bodies were subject to check and interference in matters of detail ; 
and the respective powers of Government and of the various 
local bodies should be clearly and distinctly defined by statute, 
so that there may be as little risk of friction and misunder- 
standing as possible. Within the limits to be laid down in each 
case, however, the Governor-General in Council is anxious 

36 



282 LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

that the fullest possible liberty of action should be given to local 
bodies." 

Your Excellency will recall that the Resolution from which 
I have quoted treats the sub-division, taluka, or the tahsil as 
the smallest administrative unit. It is a question whether it 
would not be wise policy to go further. The village in India 
(generally) has been the fundamental and indestructible unit of 
the social system, surviving the downfall of dynasty after 
dynasty. I desire Your Excellency in Council to consider 
the best way of carrying out a policy that would make the 
village a starting point of public life. 

34. The encouragement of local self-government being 
an object of this high importance in the better organisation of 
our Indian system, it remains to be considered how far in each 
province it would be desirable to create a department for dea- 
ling exclusively with these local bodies, guiding and instruct- 
ing them, and correcting abuses, in a form analogous to the 
operations of the Local Government Board in this country. 
That, however, is a detail, though a weighty one, in a question 
on which, as a whole, I confidently expect that Your Excellency 
will find much light in the forthcoming report of the Royal 
Commission on Decentralisation. 

35. In the closing page of your letter, Your Excellency 
raises a question of a high order of importance. You recognise, 
as you inform me, that "the effect of our proposals will be to 
throw a greater burden on the heads of local Governments, not 
only by reason of the actual increase of work caused by the 
long sittings of the Legislative Councils, but also because there 
will be considerable responsibility in dealing with the recom- 
mendations of those Councils." You then suggest the possi- 
bility that experience may show it to be desirable to strengthen 
the hands of the Lieutenant-Governors in the large provinces 
by the creation of Executive Councils and of assisting the 
Governors of Madras and Bombay by enlarging the Executive 
Councils that now exist in these Presidencies. 

36. I have to observe, with respect to Bombay and 
Madras that the original scheme under the Act of 1833 pro- 
vided for the appointment of three members to each of the 
Executive Councils in those Presidencies. It seems conform- 
able to the policy of this Despatch to take power to raise to 
four the number of members of each of these Executive 
Councils, of whom one, at least, should be an Indian. I would 



LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 283 

not, however, propose to make this a provision of a statute, but 
would leave it to practice and usage growing into confirmed 
rule. 

37. As to the creation of Executive Councils in the larger 
Provinces, I am much impressed by both of the considerations 
that weigh with Your Excellency in throwing out the suggestion 
and more especially by the second of them. All will depend 
for the wise and efficient despatch of public business, upon 
right relations between the supreme head of the executive 
power in the province and the Legislative Council. The 
question is whether these relations will be the more likely to 
adjust themselves effectively, if the judgment of the Lieutenant- 
Governor is fortified and enlarged by two or more competent 
advisers, with an official and responsible share in his delibera- 
tions. 

38. Your Excellency anticipates longer sittings of the 
Legislative Council with increased activity of discussion, and 
the effectual representation of provincial opinion and feeling, 
as a guide to executive authority is the central object of the 
policy of Your Excellency's Despatch. The aim of that policy 
is two-fold ; at once to enable Government the better to realise 
the wants, interests and sentiment of the governed, and, on 
the other hand, to give the governed a better chance of under- 
standing, as occasion arises, the case for the Government, 
against the misrepresentations of ignorance and malice. That 
double object, as Your Excellency fully appreciates, is the 
foundation of the whole system in India, and all over the 
world, of administration and legislation either through, or 
subject to, the criticism of deliberative bodies, whether great 
or small. 

39. The suggestion for the establishment of Executive 
Councils for Lieutenant-Governors, as Your Excellency is aware, 
is not new. A really new problem or new solution is in truth 
surprisingly uncommon in the history of British rule in India, 
and of the political or administrative controversies connected 
with it. Indeed, without for an instant undervaluing the 
supreme necessity for caution and circumspection at every 
step and motion in Indian Government, it may be open to 
some to question whether in some of these controversies before 
now, even an erroneous conclusion would not have been better 
than no conclusion at all. The issue we are now considering was 
much discussed in obedience to the orders of the Secretary of 



284 LORD MORLEY'S REFORM DESPATCH, 1908. 

State in 1868, by men of the highest authority on Indian 
questions, and I do not conceive that after all the consideration 
given to the subject then and since, further consultations could 
be expected to bring any new argument of weight and substance 
into view. 

40. It has sometimes been argued that the creation of 
Executive Councils in the major provinces would necessarily 
carry with it, as in Bombay and Madras, the appointment in 
each case of a Governor from home. This would indeed be 
a "large departure from the present system of administration," 
almost amounting to the confusion and overthrow of that 
system, reposing as it does upon the presence, at the head of 
the highest administrative posts, of officers trained and 
experienced in the complex requirements and diversified duties 
of the Indian Government. I take for granted, therefore, that 
the head of the Province will be, as now, a member of the Indian 
Civil Service appointed in such mode as the law prescribes. 

41. I propose, therefore, to ask for power to create Execu- 
tive Councils from time to time as may be found expedient. 
In this connection we cannot ignore the necessity of securing 
that a constitutional change, designed both to strengthen the 
authority and to lighten the labours of the head of the Province, 
shall not impair the prompt exercise of executive power. It will, 
therefore, be necessary to consider most carefully what degree of 
authority over the members of his Council in case of dissent 
should be vested in the head of a Province in which an Exe- 
cutive Council may be called into being. It was recognised 
by Parliament more than a century ago that the Governors of 
Madras and Bombay should be vested with a discretionary 
power of overruling these Councils "in cases of high importance, 
and essentially affecting the public interest and welfare." A 
power no less than this will obviously be required in the pro- 
vinces in which a Council may come to be associated with the 
head of the Executive, and I shall be glad if you will favour 
me with your views upon its definition. Your Excellency will 
readily understand that the use of such a power, while not to 
be evaded in the special cases for which it is designed, is not 
intended for a part of the ordinary mechanism of Government. 
Rather, in the language of the historical Despatch of 1834, it 
is my belief that, "in a punctual, constant, and even fastidious 
adherence to your ordinary rules of practice, you will find the 
best security, not only for the efficiency, and also for the 
despatch of your legislative proceedings." 



G. 

EXTRACTS FROM LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH IN THE HOUSE 
OF LORDS ON DECEMBER 17, 1908. 

In the course of a long speech on the proposed constitu- 
tional reforms LORD MORLEY said : 

I do not think I need go through all the contents of the 
despatch of the Governor-General and my reply, containing the 
plan of His Majesty's Government, which will be in your Lord- 
ship's hands very shortly. I think your Lordships will find in 
them a well-guarded expansion of principles that were recognised 
in 1 86 1, and are still more directly and closely connected with 
us now by the action of LORD LANSDOWNE in 1892. I have his 
words, and they are really as true a key to the papers in our 
hands as they were to the policy of the noble Marquess at that 
date. He said 

''We hope, however, that we have succeeded in giving to our proposals 
a form sufficiently definite to secure a satisfactory advance in the represen- 
tation of the people in our Legislative Councils, and to give effect to the 
principle of selection as far as possible on the advice of such sections of the 
community as are likely to be capable of assisting us in that manner." 

Then you will find that another Governor-General in 
Council in India whom I greatly rejoice to see still among us, 
my noble friend the MARQUESS OF RlPON, said in 1882 

"It is not primarily with a view to the improvement of administration, 
that this measure is put forward ; it is chiefly desirable as an instrument 
of political and popular education." 

The doctrines announced by the noble Marquess opposite 
and by my noble friend, are the standpoint from which we 
approached the situation and framed our proposals. 

I will not trouble the House by going through the history 
of the course of the proceedings that will be found in the 
Papers. I believe the House will be satisfied, just as I am satis- 
fied, with the candour and patience that have been bestowed on 
the preparation of the scheme in India, and I hope I may add it 
has been treated with equal patience and candour here, and the 
end of it is that, though some points of difference arose, though 
the Government of India agreed to drop certain points of their 
scheme the Advisory Councils, for example on the whole 



286 LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1908. 

there was remarkable agreement between the Government of 
India and myself as to the best way of dealing with these pro- 
ceedings as to Legislative Councils. I will enumerate the points 
very shortly, and though I am afraid it may be tedious, I hope 
your Lordships will not find the tedium unbearable, because, 
after all, what you are beginning to consider to-day, is the 
turning over of a fresh leaf in the history of British responsi- 
bility to India. There are only a handful of distinguished 
members of this House who understand the details of Indian 
Administration, but I will explain them as shortly as I can. 

This is a list of the powers which we shall have to acquire 
from Parliament when we bring in a Bill. This is the first 
power we shall come to Parliament for. At present the maxi- 
mum and minimum numbers of Legislative Councils are fixed 
by statute. We shall come to Parliament to authorise an 
increase in the numbers of those Councils, both the Viceroy's 
Council and the Provincial Councils. Secondly, the members 
are now nominated by the head of the Government, either the 
Viceroy or the Lieutenant-Governor. No election takes place in 
the strict sense of the term. The nearest approach to it is the 
nomination by the Viceroy, upon the recommendation of a 
majority of voters of certain public bodies. We do not pro- 
pose to ask Parliament to abolish nomination. We do propose 
to ask Parliament, in a very definite way, to introduce election 
working alongside of nomination with a view to the aim ad- 
mitted in all previous schemes, including that of the noble 
Marquess opposite the due representation of the different 
classes of the community. Third. The Indian Councils Act 
of 1892 forbids and this is no doubt a most important pro- 
hibition either resolutions or divisions of the Council in 
financial discussions. We shall ask Parliament to repeal this 
prohibition. Fourth. We shall propose to invest legislative 
Councils with power to discuss matters of public and general 
importance, and to pass recommendations or resolutions to the 
Indian Government. That Government will deal with them 
as carefully, or as carelessly, as they think fit just as a Govern- 
ment does here. Fifth. To extend the power that at pre- 
sent exists, to appoint a Member of the Council to preside. 
Sixth. Bombay and Madras have now Executive Councils, 
numbering two. I propose to ask Parliament to double the 
number of ordinary members. Seventh. The Lieutenant 
Governors have no Executive Council. We shall ask Parlia- 
ment to sanction the creation of such Councils, consisting of 



LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1908. 287 

not more than two ordinary members and to define the power 
of the Lieutenant-Governor to overrule his Council. I am 
perfectly sure there may be differences of opinion as to these 
proposals. I only want your Lordships to believe that they 
have been well thought out, and that they are accepted by 
the Governor-General in Council. 

There is one point of extreme importance which, no doubt, 
though it may not be over-diplomatic for me to say so at this 
stage, will create some controversy. I mean the matter of the 
official majority. The House knows what an official majority 
is. It is a device by which the Governor-General, or the 
Governor of Bombay or Madras, may secure a majority in 
his Legislative Council by means of officials and nominees. 
And the officials, of course, for very good reasons, just like a 
Cabinet Minister or an Under-Secretary, whatever the man's 
private opinion may be, would still vote, for the best of 
reasons, and I am bound to think with perfect wisdom, with 
the Government. But anybody can see how directly, how 
palpably, how injuriously, an arrangement of this kind tends 
to weaken, and I think 1 may say even to deaden, the sense 
both of trust and responsibility in the non-official members of 
these councils. Anybody can see how the system tends to 
throw the non-official member into an attitude of peevish, 
sulky, permanent opposition, and, therefore, has an injurious 
effect on the minds and characters of members of these Legis- 
lative Councils. 

I know it will be said I will not weary the House by 
arguing it, but I only desire to meet at once the objection 
that will be taken that these councils will, if you take away 
the safeguard of the official majority, pass any number of wild- 
cat Bills. The answer to that is that the head of the Govern- 
ment can veto the wildcat Bills. The Governor-General can 
withhold his assent, and the withholding of the assent of the 
Governor-General is no defunct power. Only the other day, 
since I have been at the India Office, the Governor-General 
disallowed a Bill passed by a Local Government which I need 
not name, with the most advantageous effect. I am quite 
convinced that if that Local Government had had an unofficial 
majority the Bill would never have been passed, and the 
Governor-General would not have had to refuse his assent. 
But so he did, and so he would if these gentlemen, whose 
numbers we propose to increase and whose powers we propose 



288 LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1908. 

to widen, chose to pass wild-cat Bills. And it mast be re- 
membered that the range of subjects within the sphere of 
Provincial Legislative Councils is rigorously limited by sta- 
tutory exclusions. I will not labour the point now. Anybody 
who cares, in a short compass, can grasp the argument, of 
which we shall hear a great deal, in paragraphs 17 to 20 of my 
reply to the Government of India, in the papers that will 
speedily be in your Lordship's hands. 

There is one proviso in this matter of the official majority, 
in which your Lordships may, perhaps, find a surprise. We 
are not prepared to divest the Governor-General in his Council 
of an official majority. In the Provincial Councils we propose 
to dispense with it, but in the Viceroy's Legislative Council 
we propose to adhere to it. Only let me say that here we may 
seem to lag a stage behind the Government of India themselves 
so little violent are we because that Government say, in 
their despatch 

*' On all ordinary occasions we are ready to dispense with an official 
majority in the Imperial Legislative Council, and to rely on the public 
spirit of non-official members to enable us to carry on the ordinary work 
of legislation." 

My Lords, that is what we propose to do in the Provincial 
Councils. But in the Imperial Council we consider an official 
majority essential. It may be said that this is a most flagrant 
logical inconsistency. So it would be, on one condition. If I 
were attempting to set up a Parliamentary system in India, or 
if it could be said that this chapter of reforms led directly or 
necessarily up to the establishment of a Parliamentary system 
in India, I, for one, would have nothing at all to do with it. 
I do not believe it is not of very great consequence what 
I believe, because the fulfilment of my vaticinations could not 
come off very soon in spite of the attempts in Oriental coun- 
tries at this moment, interesting attempts to which we all wish 
well, to set up some sort of Parliamentary system it is no 
ambition of mine, at all events, to have any share in beginning 
tfcat operation in India. If my existence, either officially or 
corporeally, were prolonged twenty times longer than either of 
them is likely to be, a Parliamentary system in India is not at 
all the goal to which I would for one moment aspire. 

One point more. It is the question of an Indian member 
on the Viceroy's Executive Council. The absence of an Indian 
member from the Viceroy's Executive Council can no longer, I 



LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1908. 289 

think, be defended. There is no legal obstacle or statutory 
exclusion. The Secretary of State can, to-morrow, if he likes, 
if there be a vacancy on the Viceroy's Council, recommend His 
Majesty to appoint an Indian member. All I want to say is 
that, if, during my tenure of office, there should be a vacancy 
on the Viceroy's Executive Council, I should feel it a duty to 
tender my advice to the King that an Indian member should 
be appointed. If it were on my own authority only, I might 
hesitate to take that step, because I am not very fond of inno- 
vations in dark and obscure ground, but here I have the absolute 
and the zealous approval and concurrence of LORD MINTO 
himself. It was at LORD MINTO'S special instigation that I 
began to think seriously of this step. Anyhow, this is how it 
stands, that you have at this moment a Secretary of State and 
a Viceroy who both concur in such a recommendation. I 
suppose if I may be allowed to give a personal turn to these 
matters that LORD MlNTO and I have had as different 
experience of life and the world as possible, and we belong, I 
daresay, to different schools of national politics, because LORD 
MlNTO was appointed by the party opposite. It is a rather 
remarkable thing that two men, differing in this way in political 
antecedents, should agree in this proposal. We need not 
discuss what particular portfolio should be assigned to an 
Indian member. That will be settled by the Viceroy on the 
merits of the individual. The great object, the main object, is 
that the merits of individuals are to be considered and to be 
decisive, irrespective and independent of race and colour. 

We are not altogether without experience, because a year 
ago, or somewhat more, it was my good fortune to be able to 
appoint two Indian gentlemen to the Council of India sitting at 
the India Office. Many apprehensions reached me as to what 
might happen. So far, at all events, those apprehensions have 
been utterly dissipated. The concord between the two Indian 
members of the Council and their colleagues has been unbroken, 
their work has been excellent, and you will readily believe me 
when I say that the advantage to me of being able to ask one 
of these two gentlemen to come and tell me something about 
an Indian question from an Indian point of view, is enormous. 
I find in it a chance of getting the Indian angle of vision, and I 
feel sometimes as if I were actually in the streets of Calcutta. 

I do not say there are not some arguments on the other 
side. But this, at all events, must be common-sense for the 

37 



LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1 908. 

Governor-General and the European members of his Council to 
have at their side a man who knows the country well, who 
belongs to the country and who can give them the point of view 
of an Indian. Surely, my Lords, that cannot but prove an 
enormous advantage. 

Let me say further, on the Judicial Bench in India every- 
body recognises the enormous service that it is to have Indian 
members of abundant learning, and who add to that abundant 
learning a complete knowledge of the conditions and life of the 
country. I propose at once, if Parliament agrees, to acquire 
powers to double the Executive Council in Bombay and Madras, 
and to appoint at least one Indian member in each of those 
cases, as well as in the Governor-General's Council. Nor, as 
the Papers will show, shall I be backward in advancing towards 
a similar step, as occasion may require, in respect of at least 
four of the major provinces. 

I wish that this chapter had been opened at a more fortun- 
ate moment ; but as I said when I rose, I repeat do not let us 
for a moment take too gloomy a view. There is not the 
slightest occasion. None of those who are responsible take 
gloomy views. They know the difficulties, they are prepared 
to grapple with them. They will do their best to keep down 
mutinous opposition. They hope to attract that good will 
which must, after all, be the real foundation of our prosperity 
and strength in India. We believe that this admission of the 
Indians to a larger and more direct share in the Government of 
their country and in all the affairs of their country without for 
a moment taking from the central power its authority, will 
fortify the foundations of our position. It will require great 
steadiness, constant pursuit of the same objects, and the main- 
tenance of our authority, which will be all the more effective if 
we have, along with our authority, the aid and assistance, in 
responsible circumstances, of the Indians themselves. 

Military strength, material strength, we have in abundance, 
What we still want to acquire is moral strength moral strength 
in guiding and controlling the people of India in the course on 
which time is launching them I should like to read a few lines 
from a great orator about India. It was a speech delivered by 
MR. BRIGHT in 1858, when the Government of India Bill was 
in another place. MR. BRIGHT said 

"We do not know how to leave India, and therefore let us see if we 
know how to govern it. Let us abandon all that system of calumny against 



LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, IQO8. 291 

natives of India which has lately prevailed. Had that people not been 
docile, the most governable race in the world, how could you have main- 
tained your power there for 100 years ? Are they not industrious, are they 
not intelligent, are they not, upon the evidence of the most distinguished 
men the Indian service ever produced, endowed with many qualities which 
make them respected by all Englishmen who mix with them ? * * * I 
would not permit any man in my presence without rebuke to indulge in the 
calumnies and expressions of contempt which I have recently heard poured 
forth without measure upon the whole population of India. * * * The 
people of India do not like us, but they would scarcely know where to 
turn if we left them. They are sheep, literally without a shepherd." 

However, that may be, we at least at Westminster here 
have no choice and no option. As an illustrious Member of 
this House wrote 

"We found a society in a state of decomposition, and we have under- 
taken the serious and stupendous process of reconstructing it." 

MACAULAY, for it was he, said 

"India now is like Europe in the fifth century." 

Yes, a stupendous process indeed. The process has gone 
on with marvellous success, and if we all, according to our 
various lights, are true to our colours, that process will go on. 
Whatever is said I for one though I am not what is commonly 
called an Imperialist so far from denying, I most emphatically 
affirm, that for us to preside over this transition from the fifth 
European century in some parts, in slow, uneven stages, up to 
the twentieth so that you have before you all the centuries at 
once as it were for us to preside over that, and to be the guide 
of peoples in that condition, is, if conducted with humanity and 
sympathy, with wisdom, with political courage, not only a 
human duty, but what has been often and most truly called one 
of the most glorious tasks ever confided to any powerful State 
in the history of civilised mankind. 



H. 

EXTRACTS FROM LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH IN THE HOUSE 
OF LORDS ON THE 4TH OF MARCH, 1909. 

In moving the Second Reading of the Indian Councils Bill 
LORD MORLEY, in the course of a long speech, said 

The Bill is a short one, and will speak for itself ; I shall 
be brief in referring to it, for in December last I made what 
was practically a Second-Reading speech. I may point out 
that there are two rival schools, and that the noble Lord 
opposite (Lord Curzori) may be said to represent one of them. 
There are two rival schools, one of which believes that better 
government of India depends on efficiency, and that efficiency 
is in fact the end of our rule in India. The other school, while 
not neglecting efficiency, looks also to what is called political 
concessions. I think I am doing the noble Lord no injustice 
in saying that during his emiment Viceroyalty he did not 
accept the necessity for political concessions, but trusted to 
efficiency. I hope it will not be bad taste to say in the noble 
Lord's presence that you will never send to India, and you 
have never sent to India a Viceroy his superior, if, indeed, his 
equal, in force of mind, in unsparing remorseless industry, in 
passionate and devoted interest in all that concerns the well- 
being of India, with an imagination fired by the grandeur of 
the political problem India presents you never sent a man 
with more of all these attributes than when you sent LORD 
CURZON. But splendidly successful as his work was from the 
point of view of efficiency, he still did leave in India a state of 
things when we look back not in consequence of his policy 
not completely satisfactory such as would have been the crown- 
ing of a brilliant career. 

I am as much for efficiency as the noble Lord, but I do 
not believe and this is the difference between him and myself 
that you can have true, solid, endurable efficiency without what 
are called political concessions. I know risks are pointed out. 
The late LORD SALISBURY, speaking on the last Indian 
Councils Bill, spoke of the risk of applying occidental machinery 
in India. Well, we ought to have thought of that before we 



LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, IQOQ. 293 

applied occidental education ; we applied that, and occidental 
machinery must follow. These Legislative Councils once 
called into existence, it was inevitable that you would have 
gradually, in LORD SALISBURY'S own phrase, to popularise 
them so as to bring them into harmony with the dominant 
sentiments of the people in India. The Bill of 1892 
admittedly contained the elective principle, and now this Bill 
extends that principle. The noble Lord (VISCOUNT CROSS) 
will remember the Bill of 1892, of which he had charge in the 
House of Commons. I want the House to be good enough 
to follow the line taken by MR. GLADSTONE, because I base 
myself on that. There was an amendment moved and there 
was going to be a division, and MR. GLADSTONE begged his 
friends not to divide, because he said it was very important 
that we should present a substantial unity to India. This is 
upon the question of either House considering a Bill like the 
Bill that is now on the Table a mere skeleton of a Bill if you 
like. I see it has been called vague and sketchy. It cannot 
be anything else on the principle explained by MR. GLAD- 
STONE: 

"It is the intention of the Government (that is, the Conservative 
Government) that a serious effort shall be made to consider carefully those 
elements which India in its present condition may furnish for the introduc- 
tion into the Councils of India of the elective principle. If that effort is 
seriously to be made, by whom is it to be made ? I do not think it can be 
made by this House, except through the medium of empowering provisions. 
The best course we could take would be to commend to the authorities of 
India what is a clear indication of the principles on which we desire them 
to proceed. It is not our business to devise machinery for the purpose of 
Indian Government. It is our business to give to those who represent 
Her Majesty in India ample information as to what we believe to be sound 
principles of Government : and it is, of course, the function of this House 
to comment upon any case in which we may think they have failed to give 
due effect to those principles. 1 ' 

I only allude to MR. GLADSTONE'S words in order to let 
the House know that I am taking no unusual course in leaving 
the bulk of the work, the details of the work, to the Govern- 
ment of India, and discussion, therefore, in this House and in 
Parliament will necessarily be not upon details. But no doubt 
it is desirable that some of the heads of the regulations, rules, 
and proclamations to be made by the Government of India 
under sanction of the India Office should be more or less placed 
within the reach and knowledge of the House so far as they are 
complete. The principles of the Bill are in the Bill and will be 



2Q4 LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1 909. 

affirmed, if your Lordships are pleased to read it a second time, 
and the Committee points, important as they are, can well be 
dealt with in Committee. The view of MR. GLADSTONE was 
cheerfully accepted by the House then, and I hope it will be 
accepted by your Lordships to-day. 

There is one very important chapter in these regulations 
which I think now on the Second Reading of the Bill, without 
waiting for Committee, I ought to say a few words to your 
Lordships about 1 mean the Mahomedans. That is a part of 
the Bill and scheme which has no doubt attracted a great deal 
of criticism and excited a great deal of feeling in that very 
important community. We suggested to the Government of 
India a certain plan. We did not prescribe it, we did not order 
it, but we suggested and recommended this plan for their con- 
siderationno more than that. It was the plan of a mixed or 
composite electoral college, in which Mahomedans and Hindus 
should pool their votes, so to say. The wording of the recom- 
mendation in my Despatch was, as I soon discovered, ambigu- 
ous a grievous defect, of which I make bold to hope I am not 
very often in public business guilty. But, to the best of my 
belief, under any construction the plan of Hindus and Maho- 
medans voting together in a mixed and composite electorate 
would have secured to the Mahomedan electors, wherever they 
were so minded, the chance of returning their own representa- 
tives in their due proportion. The political idea at the bottom 
of that recommendation which has found so little favour was 
that such composite action would bring the two great com- 
munities more closely together and this idea of promoting 
harmony was held by men of very high Indian authority 
and experience who were among my advisers at the India 
Office. But the Mahomedans protested that the Hindus 
would elect a pro-Hindu upon it, just as I suppose in a 
mixed college of say seventy-five Catholics and twenty-five 
Protestants voting together the Protestants might suspect 
that the Catholics voting for the Protestant would choose 
what is called a Romanising Protestant and as little of a 
Protestant as they could find. Suppose the other way. In 
Ireland there is an expression, a " shoneen " Catholic 
that is to say, a Catholic who, though a Catholic is too 
friendly with English Conservatism and other influences which 
the Nationalists dislike. And it might be said, if there were 
seventy-five Protestants against twenty-five Catholics, that 
the Protestants when giving a vote in the way of Catholic 



LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1909. 295 

representation would return " shoneens." I am not going to 
take your Lordship's time up by arguing this to-day. With 
regard to schemes of proportional representation, as Calvin 
said of another study, " excessive study either finds a man 
mad or makes him so." At any rate, the Government of 
India doubted whether our plan would work, and we have 
abandoned it. I do not think it was a bad plan, but is no 
use, if you are making an earnest attempt in good faith at a 
general pacification, out of parental fondness for a clause in- 
terrupting that good process by sitting too tight. 

The Mahomedans demand three things. I had the plea- 
sure of receiving a deputation from them and I know very 
well what is in their minds. They demand the election of 
their own representatives to these councils in all the stages, 
just as in Cyprus, where, I think, the Mahomedans vote by 
themselves. They have nine votes and the non-Mahomedans 
have three, or the other way about. So in Bohemia, where 
the Germans vote alone and have their own register. There- 
fore we are not without a precedent and a parallel for the 
idea of a separate register. Secondly, they want a number of 
seats in excess of their numerical strength. Those two de- 
mands we are quite ready and intend to meet in full. There 
is a third demand that, if there is a Hindu on the Viceroy's 
Executive Council a subject on which I will venture to say 
a little to your Lordships before I sit down there should be 
two Indian members on the Viceroy's Council and that one 
should be a Mahomedan. Well, as I told them and as I now 
tell your Lordships, I see no chance whatever of meeting 
their views in that way to any extent at all. 

To go back to the point of the registers, some may be 
shocked at the idea of a religious register at all, of a register 
framed on the principle of religious belief. We may wish, 
we do wish certainly I do that it were otherwise. We hope 
that time, with careful and impartial statesmanship, will make 
things otherwise. Only let us not forget that the difference 
between Mahomedanism and Hinduism is not a mere differ- 
ence of articles of religious faith. It is a difference in life, in 
tradition, in history, in all the social things as well as articles 
of belief that constitute a community. Do not let us forget 
what makes it interesting and even exciting. Do not let us 
forget that, in talking of Hindus and Mahomedans, we are 
dealing with and brought face to face with vast historic issues, 



296 LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1909. 

dealing with some of the very mightiest forces that through 
all the centuries and ages have moulded the fortunes of 
great States and the destinies of countless millions of mankind. 
Thoughts of that kind are what give to Indian politics and to 
Indian work extraordinary fascination, and at the same time 
impose the weight of no ordinary burden. 

Now I will come to the question which, I think, has ex- 
cited, certainly in this country, more interest than anything 
else in the scheme before you I mean the question of an 
Indian member on the Viceroy's Executive Council. The 
noble Marquess said here the other day that he hoped an 
opportunity would be given for discussing it. Whether it is 
in order or not I am too little versed in your Lordships' 
procedure to be quite sure but I am told that the rules 
of order in this House are of an elastic description and that I 
shall not be trespassing beyond what is right, if I introduce the 
point to-night. I thoroughly undertand the noble Marquess's 
anxiety for a chance of discussion. It is quite true, and the 
House should not forget that it is quite true, that this ques- 
tion is in no way whatever touched by the Bill. If this Bill 
were rejected by Parliament it would be a great and grievous 
disaster to peace and contentment in India, but it would not 
prevent the Secretary of State the next morning from advising 
His Majesty to appoint an Indian Member. The members 
of the Viceroy's Executive Council are appointed by the 
Crown. 

The noble Marquess the other day fell into a slight error, 
if he will forgive me for saying so. He said that the Govern- 
ment of India had used cautious and tentative words in- 
dicating that it would be premature to decide at once this 
question of the Indian member until after further experience 
had been gained. I think the noble Marquess must have lost 
his way in the mazes of that enormous Blue-book which, as 
he told us, caused him so much inconvenience and added so 
much to his excessive luggage during the Christmas holidays. 
The Despatch, as far as I can discover, is silent altogether 
on the topic of the Indian member of the Viceroy's Council, 
and deals only with the Councils of Bombay and Madras and 
the proposed Councils for the Lieutenant-Governorships. 

Perhaps I might be allowed to remind your Lordships 
of the Act of 1833 certainly the most extensive measure of 
Indian government between Mr. Pitt's famous Act of 1784 



LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, IQOQ. 297 

and Queen Victoria's assumption of the government of India. 
There is nothing so important as that Act. It lays down 
in the broadest way possible the desire of Parliament of that 
day that there was to be no difference in appointing to offices 
in India between one race and another, and the covering Des- 
patch wound up by saying that 

''For the future, fitness is to be the criterion of eligibility." 

I need not quote the famous paragraph in the Queen's 
Proclamation of 1858, for every Member of the House who 
takes an interest in India knows that by heart. Now, the 
noble Marquess says that his anxiety is that nothing shall be 
done to impair the efficiency of the Viceroy's Council. I 
share that anxiety with all my heart. I hope the noble 
Marquess will do me the justice to remember that in these 
plans I have gone beyond the Government of India in resolving 
that a permanent official majority shall remain in the Viceroy's 
Council. LORD MACDONELL said the other day : 

" I believe you cannot find any individual native gentleman who is 
enjoying general confidence who would be able to give advice and assis- 
tance to the Governor-General in Council." 

It has been my lot to be twice Chief Secretary for Ireland, 
and I do not believe I can truly say I ever met in Ireland 
a single individual native gentleman who " enjoyed general 
confidence." And yet I received at Dublin Castle most ex- 
cellent and competent advice. Therefore I will accept that 
statement from the Noble Lord. The question is whether 
there is no one of the 300 millions of the population of India 
who is competent to be the officially-constituted adviser of the 
Governor-General in Council in the administration of Indian 
affairs. You make an Indian a Judge of the High Court, and 
Indians have even been acting Chief Justices. As to capacity 
who can deny that they have distinguished themselves as 
administrators of Native States, where far more demand is 
made on their resources, intellectual and moral? It is said 
that the presence of an Indian member would cause restraint 
in the language of discussion. For a year and a half I have 
had two Indians at the Council of India, and I have never 
found the slightest restraint whatever. 

Then there is the question, what are you going to do about 
the Hindu and the Mahomedan ? When Indians were first 
admitted to the High Courts, for a long time the Hindus were 

38 



298 LORD MORLEY'S SPEECH, 1909. 

more fit and competent than the Mahomedans ; but now I am 
told the Mahomedans have their full share. The same sort of 
operation would go on in quinquennial periods between Hindus 
and Mahomedans. Opinion among the great Anglo- Indian 
officers now at home is divided, but 1 know at least one, not, I 
think, behind even Lord Macdonell in experience or mental 
grasp, who is strongly in favour of this proposal. One circums- 
tance which cannot but strike your Lordships as remarkable is 
the comparative absence of hostile criticism of this idea by the 
Anglo-Indian Press, and, as I am told, in Calcutta society. I 
was apprehensive at one time that it might be otherwise, I 
should like to give a concrete illustration. The noble Marquess 
opposite said the other day that there was going to be a va- 
cancy in one of the posts on the Viceroy's Executive Council 
namely, the legal member's time would soon be up. Now, 
suppose there were in Calcutta an Indian lawyer of large prac- 
tice and great experience in his profession a man of unstained 
professional and personal repute, in close touch with European 
society and much respected, and the actual holder of important 
legal office. Am I to say to that man In spite of all these 
excellent circumstances to your credit, in spite of your undis- 
puted fitness, in spite of the emphatic declaration of 1833 that 
fitness is to be the criterion of eligibility, in spite of that noble 
promise in Queen Victoria's Proclamation of 1858 a promise 
of which every Englishman ought to be for ever proud if he 
tries to adhere to it and rather ashamed if he tries to betray or 
mock it in spite of all this, usage and prejudice are so strong 
that I dare not appoint you, but must appoint instead some 
stranger to India from Lincoln's Inn or the Temple? Is there 
one of your Lordships who would envy the Secretary of State 
who had to hold language of that kind to a meritorious candi- 
date, one of the King's equal subjects ? I put it to your Lord- 
ships in that concrete way. These abstract general arguments 
are slippery. I do not say there is no force in them, but there 
are deeper questions at issue to which LORD MlNTO and my- 
self attach the greatest importance. My Lords, I thank you 
for listening to me, and I beg to move the Second Reading. 



I. 

EXTRACTS FROM RT. HON. MR. ASQUITH'S >THE PRIME 
MINISTER'S) SPEECH ON THE ORDER FOR THE SECOND REA- 
DING OF THE INDIAN COUNCILS BILL (APRIL IST, 1909) : , 

The Prime Minister said : The changes by this Bill are 
in no sense to be understood as reflecting on the ability, 
the patriotism or the flexibility of that great hierarchy which 
for more than two generations has given us the present 
state of things. But the fact remains that there are in India 
things which are inevitable, but which were not foreseen 
such, for instance, as the spread of education, the great 
inter-communion between the East and the West, and the 
infiltration among the educated classes of the Indian people 
of ideas which 50 or 60 years ago were perfectly alien to 
them and which nobody ever imagined would exist. These 
have brought about a different state of things. Owing to a 
number of causes of this kind you cannot rest where you are, 
and if your Indian administration is to be efficiently conduc- 
ted and founded on a stable basis, it must be done cautiously. 
I agree that it must be done prudently. I agree that it must be 
done more and more and step by step by associating the people 
of the country with the Government that exists for them. That 
is a trust which this country exercises on their behalf. That 
is a state of things which must inevitably have led, whatever 
Government was in power, to the gradual transformation and 
reconstruction of the existing machinery of Indian administra- 
tion. I should like to quote some words used the other night 
in this connection by a great authority, certainly as great an 
authority in our time as lives. I mean LORD CROMER. What 
does LORD CROMER say ? He said : 

" The position of India at the present time is almost unique. It is, so 
far as I know, the only important country in the world where education has 
considerably advanced, which is governed in all essential particulars by 
non-resident foreigners. It is also the only country where the Civil Service 
in all its higher administrative branches is in the hands of aliens appointed 
by a foreign country under stringent educational tests." 

And at the same time what do you find ? 

" I do not think it is possible to blind ourselves to the fact that there is 
throughout Asia now a movement going on having for its object the associa- 



3OO MR. ASQUITH'S SPEECH, IQOQ. 

tion to a greater degree than formerly of the natives of those countries, not 
merely in the framing of their laws, but also in the direction of the appoint- 
ment of natives of considerable capacity to high administrative posts. I 
do not think it would be politic to oppose an absolute nonpossumus to 
this movement in respect of the largest and most important of these Asiatic 
countries. Not only that, if we consider our own democratic institutions 
the sympathy which is felt with native aspirations by very large and influen- 
tial bodies in this country, and also the effects of the educational system 
which, whether wisely or unwisely, we have adopted for the last fifty years 
in India, I do not think it would be possible to resist this movement for 
any very considerable length of time". 

Those are the words of a man who, everybody will agree, has 
earned the title of being one of the most honourable personages 
in the service of this country. That is his diagnosis of the 
condition of things. 

If that be so, I will come now to consider the criticism on 
the actual scheme which the Government proposes. The 
Noble Lord has said that Indian reformers will not be satisfied 
with the proposals in the Bill. It is not unimportant to point 
out the language of Indian reformers. As late as Monday last 
MR. GOKHALE considered the nature of Indian reform. The 
language which was used by MR. GOKHALE fairly represents 
the opinions of Indian reformers. He said he had a perfectly 
impartial mind in dealing with the question. He eulogised 
LORD MINTO and LORD MINTO'S attitude with regard to this 
particular proposal, and he declared that LORD MORLEY has 
saved India from being driven into chaos. I do not say that 
the aspirations of MR. GoKHALE are met by this Bill, or those 
of his friends, but it is a step which will avert the serious danger 
which has been confronting us for the last few years. The 
Noble Earl agrees, as I understand, entirely with that part of 
the Bill which proposes to increase the number of members of 
the legislative council, and to give them a larger right of dis- 
cussion and criticism than they at present possess. 

EARL PERCY : Perhaps the number is rather greater than 
it need be. 

The PRIME MINISTER : That is a matter of detail. The 
Noble Lord, I understand, thinks they ought to be increased ? 

EARL PERCY : Yes. 

The PRIME MINISTER : Then, so far, the Noble Lord has 
no complaint. His main criticism on that part of the Bill 
which deals with the change in the constitution and composi- 
tion of the legislative council was, that outside the Viceregal 



MR. ASQUITH'S SPEECH, 1909. 3OI 

Council the non-official element would be in a majority. In 
regard to that the Viceregal and official majority is preserved. 
With regard to the nature of the regulations the Noble Lord 
has quite treated them as though they were the subject-matter 
of consideration in this debate. The practice of creating a non- 
official majority is, I must point out to the House, not at all 
the same thing as creating an elective majority. They are not 
representative at all. The non-official element is largely com- 
posed of nominated members. Therefore it is not at all the 
same thing as if you were giving the elective representatives of 
particular classes or communities a voting majority on the 
council to which they belong. That distinction must be care- 
fully observed. The non-official majority already exists in 
the Council of Bombay under the Presidency of Bombay 
and, as has been pointed out by my Right Hon. Friend when 
making the Motion for the second reading, whatever dangers 
may be apprehended I think they are very shadowy from 
the recognition of this non-official majority, they are amply 
safe-guarded against by the security which I think the Noble 
Lord rates a little too low namely, the initiative of the power 
of the veto by the Viceroy, or, in the case of the other councils, 
by the Lieutenant-Governors, which I think may be regarded 
as very adequate safeguards against any thing in the nature of 
violent or revolutionary legislation. 

EARL PERCY ; My criticism was if you exercise these 
safe-guards you create a sense of irresponsibility on the part of 
future majorities. 

The PRIME MINISTER : That is always said in regard to 
any power, whether in this country or anywhere else, in regard 
to the veto. We have here in this country the power in regard 
to the veto, which resides not in the Sovereign, but elsewhere, 
and it sometimes creates a great deal of irritation, but still we 
go on. I do not know how long it is going to last, nor whether 
it will bring the community in India to anything like the state 
of irritation which the Noble Lord has indicated, and which the 
long-suffering people of this country have endured. I do not 
think we need be very much alarmed about that. On the other 
hand, it is most desirable in the circumstances to give to the 
people of India the feeling that these legislative councils are 
not mere automatons, the wires of which are pulled by the 
official hierarchy. It is of very great importance from that 
point of view that the non-official element should be in the 



302 MR. ASQUITH'S SPEECH, 1909. 

ascendant, subject to proper safeguards. In that way you 
obtain some kind of security that the legislation which 
finally passes through the mill of the council reflects the opinion 
of the community. 

The Noble Lord spoke of the position of the Mahomedans. 
Speaking generally with regard to that, the Noble Lord has 
stated that my Noble Friend dropped his original proposal 
in regard to the electoral college - dropped them in defer- 
ence to objections made to a large extent by the Mahomedans 
themselves and that when the Bill comes into law it will be 
a matter prescribed by regulation in each of the particular 
provinces as to how they shall elect their representatives. Un- 
doubtedly there will be a separate register for Mahomedans. 
To us here in this country at first sight it looks an objec- 
tionable thing, because it discriminates between people, segre- 
gating them into classes, on the basis of religious creed. I 
am sure the Noble Lord will not regard that as a formidable 
objection, because the distinction between Mahomedan and 
Hindu is not merely religious, but it cuts deep down not 
only into the traditions and historic past, but into the habits 
and social customs of the people. Provided that, as we may 
assume, the regulations adequately safeguard the separate 
registration of the Mahomedan electorate, I do not think any 
practical suggestion has yet been made for more completely 
giving that kind of representation which undoubtedly as a 
minority they are entitled to demand. The number of Maho- 
medans on the Viceroy's Council are only five ; but, on the 
other hand, as the Noble Lord knows, on the Viceroy's Council 
there will be 20 nominated members, of whom 17 are to be 
officials, and there is no reason why the Mahomedans should 
not come into that category. In addition, there are to be 
Mahomedans elected by other communities chambers of com- 
merce, and so forth and it is not improbable that, among this 
category, Mahomedan representatives might be found. I do 
not think there is any serious danger, or any danger at all, 
of the Mahomedans not being adequately represented on the 
Viceroy's Council. 

I now come to what the Noble Lord regarded as a 
more serious matter, though it is one not directly dealt with 
by this Bill, that is, the nomination of the native members 
of the Executive Council of the Viceroy. The Noble 
Lord said that his objection to such an appointment was 



MR. ASQUITH'S SPEECH, igog. 303 



not one of principle. He admitted that the King's Pro- 
clamation announced absolute equality as far as race and 
religion are concerned, but that his objection was one, not of 
principle, but of expediency. He took the point so often 
taken in the course of these discussions, that if you put a 
native member on the Executive Council of the Viceroy, you 
admit him to a knowledge not merely of what I may call 
local administrative matters, but you give him access, at any 
rate, to what may be described as the Arcana of Government. 
The noble Lord thinks this is a dangerous step to take. 
Why ? In the first place he says because the gentleman so 
appointed, whoever he may be, cannot have any previous 
experience in these high matters. But that is an argument 
you might carry to very great lengths not only in India, but 
elsewhere. A gentleman is admitted for the first time to the 
Cabinet in this country ; he has had no previous experience 
on official matters of this kind. But he becomes familiar with 
high secrets of State, and he acquires experience and justifies 
the confidence reposed in him after he has got there and upon 
such presumption as his previous training and reputation may 
create. And unless you are going to lay down as a proposition 
that no native, Mahomedan or Hindu, whatever be his intel- 
lectual eminence, whatever be his practical training, like that 
of MR. SlNHA in a great profession like the profession of the 
law, however high he may have attained in that profession in 
competition not only with men of his own race, but with 
Europeans and Englishmen unless you are going to lay down 
the fact that he is an Indian, born in India, and that in itself, 
for all time, permanently and irredeemably disables him 
from being put into this great position of responsibility, I fail 
to see how it is possible to justify the exclusion of Indians 
from positions of this kind. Let me point out also that if you 
talk about previous experience, who are the people whom we 
appointed, the men of eminence and distinction who thoroughly 
justified their selection, whom we have sent to India in days 
gone by ? As a rule, in the vast majority of cases the Legal 
Member of the Council and the Financial Member of the 
Council have come from England, and, as a rule, they have 
been men without any previous experience of India before they 
landed there. LORD MACAULAY, one of the most distin- 
guished Englishmen, had never been in India before his ap- 
pointment, and had never paid any special attention to it. 
On his way out he studied the works of ST. CHRYSOSTOM. 



304 MR. ASQUITH'S SPEECH, 1909. 

It is quite true when he came back he wrote most brilliant 
essays on the heroes of Anglo-Indian history, but he landed 
in India with as small an amount of expert knowledge of 
Indian affairs as any man who ever sailed across the Indian 
Ocean. So it has been constantly with the Financial Member. 
As a rule, he goes from here to India without previous expert 
acquaintance with the problems of Indian finance. How is it 
possible for us to say then that we are in the habit of filling 
these posts in that way ? Be it observed I am not in the 
least disparaging the men who have gone there. How is it 
possible for us to say, when you get men like MR. SlNHA, 
a distinguished gentleman, actually at the head of the legal 
profession, a man born and bred in India, who has studied 
the Indian law, common law, customary and statute law how 
is it possible to say that he is not fitted for such a post as 
that of Legal Member of the Viceroy's Council ? I under- 
take to say with the greatest confidence you could not find a 
man so qualified to discharge the duties of that particular 
position as the distinguished Hindu LORD MORLEY has got. 
The question really is : Are you going to say it is to be one 
of the inflexible rules of the Empire that, in spite of the 
terms of the King's proclamation, a man so eminently quali- 
fied, so pre-eminently qualified, as Mr. Sinha is for this place, 
is to be disqualified because he was born in India and is 
not a member of our own race? The proposition is not an 
arguable one ; and I believe that my Noble Friend's action in 
that appointment will carry with it the assent of the vast 
majority of the people of this country. Let me say at once 
that I disclaim on the part of my Noble Friend, that because 
MR. SlNHA has been appointed to this position he is to 
be a see-saw between Mahomedans and Hindus in this parti- 
cular position, and that a new rule of succession is to be 
established. Nothing of the kind. My Noble Friend plainly 
indicated when the Mahomedans waited upon him that he 
did not regard himself in any sense pledged to anything of the 
kind. The appointment of Mr. Sinha must be taken as an 
act which has nothing to do with this Bill, but an appointment 
made under the powers of the old Act, and not under the 
new power which would be set up under this Bill. The 
point is whether a man so eminently qualified for one of 
these posts on the Viceroy's Council is to be disqualified be- 
cause he is an Indian and not an Englshman. 

I come to the criticism which the Noble Lord passed on 



MR. ASQUITH'S SPEECH, IQOQ. 305 

that which is not now in the Bill, but which used to be in the 
Bill, and which we hope will be in the Bill again, viz., the for 
the moment defunct clause 3, or the clause which I prefer to say 
is for the moment in a state of suspended animation. He said 
that he objected and his friends objected to the empowering 
that is all clause 3 did to giving power to the Government 
of India from time to time, if it should think fit, to create 
these Executive Councils. First of all, let me say on the 
point of precedent that we are wisely following the example 
of the Act of 1861, which gave power from time to time a 
power which has been more than once exercised to create 
new Lieutenant-Governorships and Executive Councils. 

EARL PERCY : Governorships in Council. 

The PRIME MINISTER : Oh, yes ; and I think it has been 
exercised in the case of Burmah and the Punjab, and in the 
recent creation of the new Province of Eastern Bengal. If I 
am not mistaken at all that was done under the powers con- 
ferred by the Act of 1861. So that it is no new thing to 
confer upon the Government of India power of this kind to be 
exercised from time to time, and it has the obvious conve- 
nience that you have not got to come to Parliament each time 
that the situation arises for the creation of one of these new 
Executive bodies. So much for the precedent. Then as to 
the reasons. They cannot be better stated than they are 
stated in the passage which my Noble Friend has already 
read elsewhere in the despatch of the Viceroy of March gth. 
[The Right Hon. Gentleman, having read a lengthy extract, 
proceeded.] That is the expression of opinion of the Govern- 
ment of India. They say that after many months' delibera- 
tionthere is no question here that the matter has been 
rushed they say they desire after full consideration that this 
power should be placed in their hands ; that they shall exer- 
cise it first probably in the case of Bengal, and that they shall 
in the light of experience cautiously and gradually apply it 
in other provinces. 

It is a power they say we wish to have, and through the 
Secretary of State we ask that Parliament should grant it. 
What possible objection can there be to that course ? I could 
not quite gather from the speech of the Noble Lord whether 
he would be opposed to this clause if it is applied only to 
Bengal. 

39 



306 MR. ASQUiTH'S SPEECH, IQOQ. 

EARL PERCY : No. 

THE PRIME MINISTER: If it had been limited to Bengal, 
if it had been confined to establishing an Executive Council 
for Bengal, he would have agreed to the clause. Is it making 
an undue draft on the part of the Government of India and 
the Secretary of State, on the confidence of Parliament, to say 
that that which you admit at the present moment to be good, 
to be not only expedient, but necessary, for administrative 
purposes in Bengal, may and probably will become expe- 
dient and necessary in other parts of India from time to time. 
" We ask you therefore," the Government of India say, " to 
give us the power if and when the occasion may arise to estab- 
lish these Executive Councils elsewhere, and we hope that in 
the interests of India you will not refuse us that power." 
I do not see how any more reasonable or moderate proposal 
could be made than this appeal to the wisdom and the con- 
fidence of Parliament. I think I have dealt with all the main 
points which the Noble Lord raised in his speech. I submit, 
with some confidence, first of all that this Bill is no breach of 
the great traditions of our Indian Administration. It is, on the 
contrary, the natural and legitimate development of the prin- 
ciples upon which, for the last 50 or 60 years at any rate, 
the Government has been avowedly and explicitly founded. 
I submit, further, that in regard to its practical effect the 
enlargement of the Legislative Councils, the introduction into 
them of the elected element, the predominance, except in the 
Viceroy's Council, of the non-official element, and as regards 
the power which it gives the Government of India first in 
Bengal, and then from time to time, as occasion arises, in 
other provinces, to assist Lieutenant-Governors by the aid of 
Executive Councils all these are provisions carefully thought 
out, moderate in their scope, calculated to associate gradually 
but safely more and more the people of India with the ad- 
ministration of their own affairs, and consistent in every res- 
pect with the maintenance of our Imperial supremacy. 



J. 

THE REGULATIONS FOR THE CONSTITUTION AND 
FUNCTIONS OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL OF THE GOVER- 
NOR-GENERAL (ISSUED ON NOVEMBER, 1$, 1 909 AND REVISED 

IN 1913). 

I. Regulations for the nomination and election of Additional 

Members of the Legislative Council of the 

Governor-General. 

I. The Additional Members of the Legislative Council of 
Number of Members the Governor-General shall ordinarily be 

sixty in number and shall consist of 

A. Members elected by the classes specified in Regulation 
II, who shall ordinarily be twenty-seven in number ; and 

B. Members nominated by the Governor-General, who 
shall not exceed thirty-three in number, and of whom 
(a) not more than twenty-eight may be officials, and 
(fr) three shall be non-official persons to be selected 
(i) one from the Indian commercial community, 
(ii) one from the Mahomedan community in the Punjab : 
(iii) one from the landholders in the Punjab : 

Provided that it shall not be lawful for the Governor- 
General to nominate so many non-official persons under these 
Regulations that the majority of all the Members of the Council 
shall be non-officials. 

II. The twenty-seven elected Members specified in 
Elected Members. Regulation I shall be elected as follows, 

namely : 

(i) By the non-official Additional Members of the 

Council of the Governor of Fort St. George ... 2 Members. 

(ii) By the non-official Additional Members of the 

Council of the Governor of Bombay ... 2 Members. 

(iii) By the non-official Additional Members of the 
Council of the Governor of Fort William in 
Bengal ... ... ... ... ... 2 Members. 



308 COUNCIL REGULATIONS,~I909. 

(iv) By the non-official Members of the Council of 
the Lieutenant-Governor of the United Provin- 
ces of Agra and Oudh ... ... ... 2 Members. 

(v) By the non-official Members of the Council of 

the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab ... i Member. 

(vi) By the non-official Members of the Council of 

the Lieutenant-Governor of Burma ... i Member. 

(vii) By the non-official Additional Members of the 
Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of Bihar 
and Orissa ... ... ... ... i Member. 

(viii) By the non-official Members of the Council of 

the Chief Commissioner of Assam ... ... i Member. 

(ix) By the District Councils and Municipal Com- 
mittees in the Central Provinces ... ... i Member. 

(x) By Landholders in the Presidency of Fort St. 

George... ... ... ... ... i Member, 

(xi) By Landholders:in the Presidency of Bombay i Member, 
(xii) By Landholders in the Presidency of Bengal i Member. 

(xiii) By Landholders in the United Provinces of 

Agra and Oudh ... ... i Member. 

(xiv) By Landholders in Bihar and Orissa ... i Member, 

(xv) By Landholders in the Central Provinces ... i Member. 

(xvi) By the Mahomedan community in the 

Presidency of Fort St. George ... ... i Member. 

(xvii) By the Mahomedan community in the Presi- 
dency of Bombay ... ... ... ... i Member. 

(xviii) By the Mahomedan community in the 

Presidency of Bengal ... ... ... i Member. 

(xix) By the Mahomedan community in the 

United Provinces of Agra and Oudh ... i Member. 

(xx) By the Mahomedan community in Bihar 

and Orissa. ... ... ... ... i Member. 

(xxi) By the Bengal Chamber of Commerce ... i Member, 
(xxii) By the Bombay Chamber of Commerce ... i Member. 

In addition to the Members specified in the foregoing part 
of this Regulation, a second Member shall be elected at the 
first, and succeeding alternate elections by the Mahomedan 
members of the class specified in sub-head (xiii), and at the 
second, fourth and succeeding alternate elections, by the class 
specified in sub-head (xviii). 

Explanation. The expression "alternate elections" shall 
not be deemed to include election to fill casual vacancies. 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, IQOQ. 309 

III. The election of the Members specified in Regulation 
II shall be effected by the electorates, and 

torai le pJScedu S re a 8 n . d elec " in accordance with the procedures respec- 
tively prescribed in the Schedules to these 

Regulations. 

IV. No person shall be eligible for 
ineligible candidates election as a Member of the Council if such 

person 

(a) is not a British subject, or 

(b) is an official, or 

(c) is a female, or 

(d) has been adjudged by a competent Civil Court to 
be of unsound mind, or 

(e) is under twenty-five years of age, or 

(/) is an uncertificated bankrupt or an undischarged 
insolvent, or 

(g) has been dismissed from the Government service, or 

(h) has been sentenced by a Criminal Court to imprison- 
ment for an offence punishable with imprisonment for a term 
exceeding six months, or to transportation, or has been ordered 
to find security for good behaviour under the Code of Criminal 
Procedure, such sentence or order not having subsequently been 
reversed or remitted, or the offender pardoned, or 

(i) has been debarred from practising as a legal practitioner 
by order of any competent authority, or 

(j ) has been declared by the Governor-General in Council 
to be of such reputation and antecedents that his election would, 
in the opinion of the Governor-General in Council be contrary 
to the public interest : 

Provided that, in cases(^), (^),(z)and (/), the disqualification 
may be removed by an order of the Governor-General in 
Council in this behalf. 

V. No person shall be eligible for election under any sub- 
head of Regulation II unless he possesses 
d. u u" ficatlon f candi " the qualifications prescribed for candidates 
in the Schedule regulating elections under 
that sub-head. 



310 COUNCIL REGULATIONS, IQOQ. 

VI. No person shall be qualified to vote at any election 
Disqualifications of held under these Regulations if such 

voters. person 

(a) is a female, or 

(b) is a minor, or 

(<:) has been adjudged by a competent Civil Court to be of 
unsound mind. 

VII. Every person, who is elected or nominated under 

these Regulations to be a Member of 
oath of office. Council, shall, before taking his seat, make, 

at a meeting of the Council, an oath or 
affirmation of his allegiance to the Crown, in the following 
form, namely : 

I, A. B., having been elected an Additional Member of the 

nominated 

Legislative Council of the Governor-General, do solemnly swear 
(or affirm) that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to 
His Majesty the King, Emperor of India, His heirs and succes- 
sors, and that I will faithfully discharge the duty of the office 
upon which I am about to enter. 

VIII. (v If any person, 

Power to declare seats (<*) not being eligible for election, is 
vacant - elected under these Regulations, or 

(b) having been elected or nominated, subsequently 
becomes subject to any of the disabilities stated in clauses (d) } (f) 
(g), (h) or) (i) of Regulation IV, or fails to make the oath or 
affirmation prescribed by Regulation VII within such time as 
the Governor-General in Council considers reasonable, the 
Governor-General shall, by notification in the Gazette of India^ 
declare his election or nomination to be void or his seat to 
be vacant. 

(2) When any such declaration is made, the Governor- 
General shall, by notification as aforesaid, call upon the elec- 
torate concerned to elect another person within such time 
as may be prescribed by such notification, or shall nominate 
another person, as the case may be. 

(3) If any person elected at such fresh election is not 
eligible for election, the Governor-General may nominate any 
person who is eligible for election by the electorate concerned. 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 31 1 

IX. (i) If any person is elected by more than one 

electorate, he shall, by notice in writing 
candidates elected by signed by him and delivered to the Secre- 

several electorates. . , 

tary to the Government of India m the 

Legislative Department, within seven days from the date of 
the publication of the result of such elections in the Gazette 
of India, choose, or in his default the Governor-General shall 
declare, for which of these electorates he shall serve, and the 
choice or declaration shall be conclusive. 

(2) When any such choice or declaration has been made, 
the votes recorded for such person in any electorate for which 
he is not to serve shall be deemed not to have been given, 
and the candidate, if any, who, except for the said votes, 
would have been declared elected for such electorate, shall be 
deemed to have been duly elected for the same. 

X. (i) Save as otherwise provided in these Regulations, 

the term of office of an Additional Mem- 
ber shall be three years, commencing 
from 

(a) in the case of a nominated Member, the date of the 
publication in the Gazette of India of the notification by which 
he is nominated. 

() in the case of an elected Member, the date of the 
publication in the Gazette of India of the result of the election, 
or, where the result of such election has been so published 
before the vacancy has occurred, from the date on which such 
vacancy occurs : 

Provided that official Members and Members nominated 
as being persons who have expert knowledge of subjects con- 
nected with proposed or pending legislation shall hold office 
for three years, or such shorter period as the Governor-General 
may at the time of nomination determine : 

Provided further that in the event of a Legislative Council 
being constituted for the Central Provinces, the term of office 
of the Member elected by the class specified in sub-head (ix) of 
Regulation II shall expire on such date as the Governor- 
General in Council may, by notification in the Gazette of India, 
direct. 

(2) A Member elected or nominated to fill a casual 
vacancy occurring by reason of absence from India, inability 
to attend to duty, death, acceptance of office or resignation duly 



312 COUNCIL REGULATIONS, IQOQ. 

accepted, or otherwise, or a Member nominated on failure of 
an electorate to elect an eligible person, shall hold office so 
long as the Member whose place he fills would have been 
entitled to hold office if the vacancy had not occurred. 

XI. (i) When a vacancy occurs in the case of a Member 

who represents any interest specified in 
Regulation II, or at any time within 

three months of the date when such a vacancy will occur in the 
ordinary course of events, the Governor-General shall, by noti- 
fication as aforesaid, call upon the electorate concerned to 
elect a person for the purpose of filling the vacancy within 
such time as may be prescribed by such notification. 

(2) When a vacancy occurs in the case of a nominated 
Member, the Governor-General may nominate any person to 
the vacancy : 

Provided that when a casual vacancy occurs 

(a) in the case of an elected Member, the election shall 
always be made by the same electorate as that which elected 
the Member whose place is to be filled, and shall be subject to 
the same conditions in respect of eligibility of candidates for 
nomination as those which governed the election of such 
Member, and 

(b} in the case of a Member nominated as representing 
any class specified in Regulation I, sub-head B, clause (;, the 
person nominated shall be selected from the same class. 

XII. If within the time prescribed by a notification issued 

under Regulation VIII, clause (2), or Re- 
gulation XI, clause (D, the electorate con- 
cerned fails to elect, the Governor-General may nominate at 
his discretion any person who is eligible for election by such 
electorate. 

XIII. The power of making laws and regulations, or of 

transacting other business vested in the 
Legislative Council of the Governor- 
General shall be exercised only at meetings at which 

(a) the Governor-General, or 

(b) the President nominated by the Governor-General in 
Council under section 6 of the Indian Councils Act, 1861, or 

(c) the Vice-President appointed by the Governor-General 
under section 4 of the Indian Councils Act 1909, or 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 313 

(d) in the case of the discussion referred to in section 5 of 
the Indian Councils Act, 1909, a Member appointed to preside 
in pursuance of a rule made under that section and fifteen 
or more Members of the Council of whom eight at least shall 
be Additional Members, are present. 

XIV. (i) No election shall be valid if any corrupt practice 

is committed in connection therewith by 

Corrupt practices. ^ candidate elected> 

(2) A person shall be deemed to commit a corrupt practice 
within the meaning of these Regulations 

(i) who, with a view to inducing any voter to give or to 
refrain from giving a vote in favour of any candidate, offers or 
gives any money or valuable consideration, or holds out any 
promise of individual profit, or holds out any threat of injury 
to any person, or, 

(ii) who gives, procures or abets the giving of a vote in the 
name of a voter who is not the person giving such vote. 

And a corrupt practice shall be deemed to be committed 
by a candidate if it is committed with his knowledge and con- 
sent, or by a person who is acting under the general or special 
authority of such candidate with reference to the election. 

Explanation. A "promise of individual profit " includes a 
promise for the benefit of the person himself, or of any one in 
whom he is interested. 

XV. No election shall be invalid by reason of a non- 

compliance with the rules contained in the 
ruie^ n " c mpliance witb Schedules to these Regulations or any 

mistake in the use of Forms annexed 
thereto, if it appears that the election was conducted in ac- 
cordance with the principles laid down in such rules, and that 
such non-compliance or mistake did not affect the result of the 
election. 

XVI. (i) If the validity of any election is brought in ques- 

tion by any person qualified either to be 



dit y of * va "" elected or to vote at such election on the 



ground of the improper rejection or re- 
ception of a nomination or of a vote, or of any corrupt practice 
in connection with such election, or for any other cause, such 
person may, at any time within fifteen days from the date of 
the publication of the result of such election in the Gazette of 

40 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 

India, apply to the Governor-General in Council to set aside 
such election. 

(2) The Governor-General in Council shall, after such in- 
quiry (if any) as he may consider necessary, declare, by noti- 
fication as aforesaid, whether the candidate whose election is 
questioned or any or what other person was duly elected, or 
whether the election was void. 

(3) If the election is declared void, the Governor- General 
shall, by notification as aforesaid, call upon the electorate con- 
cerned to elect another person within such time as may be 
prescribed by such notification. 

(4) If within the time so prescribed the electorate fails 
to elect, the Governor-General may nominate any person who 
is eligible for election by such electorate. 

XVII. The decision of the Governor-General in Council 

on any question that may arise as to the 
Finality of decisions, j^^ construction or application of 

these Regulations shall be final. 

XVIII. (i) As soon as conveniently may be after these 

Regulations come into force, a Council 
shall be constituted in accordance with 
their provisions. 

(2) For this purpose the Governor-General shall, by noti- 
fication as aforesaid, call upon the electorates referred to in 
Regulation III to proceed to elect Members in accordance 
with these Regulations within such time as may be prescribed 
by such notification. 

(3) If within the time so prescribed any such class fails to 
elect, the Governor-General may nominate at his discretion for 
a period not exceeding six months any person who is eligible 
for election by such class. 

II. Regulations for the Discussion of the Annual Financial 

Statement in the Legislative Council of the 

Governor-General. 

Definitions. 

i. In these rules 

(i) " President" means 

(a) the Governor-General, or 






COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 315 

(b the President nominated by the Governor-General in 
Council under section 6 of the Indian Councils Act, 1861, or 

(c) the Vice-President appointed by the Governor-General 
under section 4 of the Indian Councils Act, 1909, or 

(ct) the Member appointed to preside under rule 27 ; 

(2) " Member in charge " means the Member of the Council 
of the Governor-General to whom is alloted the business of the 
Department of the Government of India to which the subject 
under discussion belongs, and includes any Member to whom 
such Member in charge may delegate any function assigned to 
him under these rules ; 

(3) "Finance Member " means the Member in Charge of 
the Finance Department of the Government of India ; 

(4) " Secretary " means the Secretary to the Government 
of India in the Legislative Department, and includes the De- 
puty Secretary and every person for the time being exercising 
the functions of the Secretary ; 

15) "Financial statement" means the preliminary 
financial estimates of the Governor-General in Council for 
the financial year next following ; and 

(6) "Budget" means the Financial Statement as finally 
settled by the Governor-General in Council. 

A. THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT. 
General order of Discussion. 

II. (i> On such day as may be appointed in this behalf 
by the Governor-General, the Financial Statement with an 
explanatory memorandum shall be presented to the Council 
every year by the Finance Member, and a printed copy shall 
be given to every member. 

(2) No discussion of the Financial Statement shall be 
permitted on such day. 

III. (i) On such later day as may be appointed in this 
behalf by the Governor-General, the first stage of the dis- 
cussion of the Financial Statement in Council shall commence. 

12) On this day, after the Finance Member has stated 
any changes in the figures of the Financial Statement which 
circumstances may since have rendered necessary and has 
made any explanations of that Statement which he may think 
fit., any Member shall be at liberty to move any resolution 



3l6 COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 

entered in his name in the list of business relating to any al- 
teration in taxation, any new loan or any additional grant to 
Local Government proposed or mentioned in such statement 
or explanatory memorandum, and the Council shall thereupon 
proceed to discuss each such resolution in the manner here- 
in-after prescribed. 

IV. (i) The second stage of the discussion of the Financial 
Statement shall commence as soon as may be after all the 
resolutions which may be moved as aforesaid have been 
disposed of. 

(2) In this stage each head or group of heads specified in 
the statement contained in the Schedule appended to these 
rules as being open to discussion, shall be considered separately 
according to such grouping as the member in charge may 
determine. 

(3) The consideration of a particular head or group of 
heads shall be introduced by the member in charge with such 
explanations, supplementing the information contained in the 
Financial Statement, as may appear to him to be necessary. 

(4) Any Member shall then be at liberty to move any 
resolution relating to any question covered by any such head 
or group of heads which may be entered in his name in the list 
of business, and the Council shall thereupon proceed to dis- 
cuss every such resolution in the manner hereinafter prescribed. 

Subjects excluded from discussion. 

V. No discussion shall be permitted in regard to any of 
the following subjects, namely : 

(a) any subject removed from the cognizance of the 
Legislative Council of the Governor- General by section 22 of 
the Indian Councils Act, 1861 ; or 

(b) any matter affecting the relations of His Majesty's 
Government or of the Governor-General in Council with any 
foreign State or any native State in India ; or 

(c) any matter under adjudication by a Court of law 
having jurisdiction in any part of His Majesty's Dominions. 

Resolutions. 

VI. No resolution shall be moved which does not comply 
with the following conditions, namely : 

(a) it shall be in the form of a specific recommendation 
addressed to the Governor-General in Council ; 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, IQOQ. 317 

(b) it shall be clearly and precisely expressed and shall 
raise a definite issue ; 

(c) it shall not contain arguments, inferences; ironical 
expressions or defamatory statements, nor shall it refer to the 
conduct or character of persons except in their official or 
public capacity ; 

(d) it shall not challenge the accuracy of the figures of 
the Financial Statement ; and 

(e) it shall be directly relevant to some entry in the 
Financial Statement. 

VII. A Member, who wishes to move a resolution, shall 
give notice in writing to the Secretary at least two clear days 
before the commencement of the stage of the discussion to 
which the resolution relates, and shall together with the notice 
submit a copy of the resolution which he wishes to move. 

VIII. The President may disallow any resolution or part 
of a resolution without giving any reason therefor other than 
that in his opinion it cannot be moved consistently with the 
public interests or that it should be moved in the Legislative 
Council of a Local Government. 

IX. (i) No discussion in Council shall be permitted in 
respect of any order of the President under rule VIII. 

(2) A resolution that has been disallowed shall not be 
entered in the proceedings of the Council. 

X. Resolutions admitted by the President shall be 
entered in the list of business in such order as he may direct. 

Discussion of Resolutions. 

XI. (i) After the mover of a resolution has spoken, other 
Members may speak to the motion in such order as the Presi- 
dent may direct, and thereafter the mover may speak once 
by way of reply. 

(2) No Member other than the mover and the Member 
in charge shall speak more than once to any motion except 
with the permission of the President for the purpose of making 
an explanation. 

XII. No speech, except with the permission of the Presi- 
dent, shall exceed fifteen minutes in duration. 

Provided that the mover of a resolution, when moving the 
same and the Member in charge may speak for thirty minutes. 



318 COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 

XIII. The discussion of a resolution shall be limited to the 
subject of the resolution, and shall not extend to any matter 
as to which a resolution may not be moved. 

XIV. A Member who has moved a resolution may with- 
draw the same unless some Member desires that it be put to the 
vote. 

XV. When, in the opinion of President, a resolution has 
been sufficiently discussed, he may close the discussion by 
calling upon the Mover to reply and the Member in charge 
to submit any final observations which he may wish to make ; 

Provided that the President may in all cases address the 
Council before putting the question to the vote. 

XVI. If any resolution involves many points the President 
at his discretion may divide it, so that each point may be 
determined separately. 

XVII. (i) Every question shall be resolved in the affirma- 
tive or in the negative according to the majority of votes. 

(2) Votes may be taken by voices or by division and 
shall be taken by division if any member so desires. 

(3) The President shall determine the method of taking 
votes by division. 

XVIII. (i) The President may assign such time as with 
due regard to the public interests he may consider reasonable 
for the discussion of resolutions or of any particular resolution. 

(2) Every resolution which shall not have been put to the 
vote within the time so assigned shall be considered to have 
been withdrawn. 

XIX. Every resolution, if carried, shall have effect only as 
a recommendation to the Governor-General in Council. 

XX. When a question has been discussed at a meeting of 
the Council, or when a resolution has been disallowed under 
rule VIII. or withdrawn under rule XIV. no resolution raising 
substantially the question shall be moved within one year. 

B.THE BUDGET. 

XXI. (i) On or before the 24th day of March in every year 
the Budget shall be presented to the Council by the Finance 
Member, who shall describe the changes that have been made 
in the figures of the Financial Statement, and shall explain 
why any resolutions passed in Council have not been accepted. 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 319 

(2) A printed copy of the Budget shall be given to each 
member. 

XXII. (i^ The general discussion of the Budget in Council 
shall take place on such later day as may be appointed by the 
President for this purpose. 

(2) At such discussion, any member shall be at liberty to 
offer any observations he may wish to make on the budget, but 
no member shall be permitted to move any resolution in regard 
thereto, nor shall the budget be submitted to the vote of the 
Council. 

(3) It shall be open to the President, if he thinks fit, to pres- 
cribe a time limit for speeches. 

XXIII. The Finance Member shall have the right of reply, 
and the discussion shall be closed by the President making such 
observations as he may consider necessary. 

C. GENERAL. 

XXIV. (i) Every Member shall speak from his place, 
shall rise when he speaks and shall address the Chair. 

(2) At any time, if the President rises, any Member speak- 
ing shall immediately resume his seat. 

XXV. ( i) Any Member may send his speech in print to the 
Secretary not less than two clear days before the day fixed for 
the discussion of a resolution, with as many copies as there are 
members and the Secretary shall cause one of such copies to be 
supplied to every Member. 

(2) Any such speech may at the direction of the President 
be taken as read. 

XXVI. (i) The President shall preserve order, and all 
points of order shall be decided by him. 

(2) No discussion on any point of order shall be allowed 
unless the President thinks fit to take the opinion of the Council 
thereon. 

(3) Any Member may at any time submit a point of order 
to the decision of the President. 

(4) The President shall have all powers necessary for the 
purpose of enforcing his decisions. 

XXVII. The Governor-General may appoint a member of 
the Council to preside in his place, or in that of the Vice-Presi- 
dent, on any occasion on which the Financial Statement or the 
Budget or any portion thereof is discussed in the Council. 

XXVIII. The President, for sufficient reason, may 
suspend any of the foregoing rules. 



320 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 



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COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 



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nd annuities. 


Superannuation Allowances 
and Pensions 
Stationery and Printing 
Exchange 
Miscellaneous 
Famine Relief 
Construction of Protective 
Railways 


Construction of Protective 
Irrigation Works 
Reduction or avoidance of Debt. 
Subsidised Companies ; Land, 
etc. 


Miscellaneous Railway Expen- 
diture 


Irrigation : Major Works- 
Working expenses 
Minor Works and Navigations 
Civil Works 
State Railways ; Capital Expen- 
diture not charged to Revenue. 
Irrigation Works ; Capital Ex- 
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322 COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 

III. Regulations for the Discussion of Matters of General 

Public Interest in the Legislative Council 

of the Governor-General. 

Definitions, 
I. 'In these rules 

(1) 'President" means 

(a) the Governor-General, or 

(b) the President nominated by the Governor-General in 
Council under section 6 of the Indian Councils Act, 1861, or 

(c) the Vice-President appointed by the Governor- 
General under section 4 of the Indian Councils Act, 1909, or 

(d) the Member appointed to preside under rule XXVII. 

(2) "Member in charge'' means the Member of the Council 
of the Governor-General to whom is allotted the business of the 
Department of the Government of India to which the subject 
under discussion belongs, and includes any member to whom 
such member in charge may delegate any function assigned to 
him under these rules ; and 

(3) " Secretary " means Secretary to the Government of 
India in the Legislative Department, and includes the Deputy 
Secretary and every person for the time being exercising the 
functions of the Secretary. 

Matters open to discussion, 

II. Any matter of general public interest may be discussed 
in the Council subject to the following conditions and restric- 
tions. 

III. No such discussion shall be permitted in regard to 
any of the following subjects, namely : 

(a) any subject removed from the cognizance of the Legis- 
lative Council of the Governor-General by section 22 of the 
Indian Councils Act, 1861 ; or 

(b) any matter affecting the relations of His Majesty's 
Government or of the Governor-General in Council with any 
Foreign State or any Native State in India ; or 

(c) any matter under adjudication by a Court of Law 
having jurisdiction in any part of His Majesty's Dominions. 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, IQOQ. 323 

Resolutions. 

IV. Subject to the restrictions contained in rule III, any 
Member may move a resolution relating to a matter of general 
public interest : 

Provided that no resolution shall be moved which does not 
comply with the following conditions, namely : 

(a) it shall be in the form of a specific recommendation 
addressed to the Governor-General in Council ; 

(&) it shall be clearly and precisely expressed and shall 
raise a definite issue ; and 

(c) it shall not contain arguments, inferences, ironical 
expressions or defamatory statements, nor shall it refer to the 
conduct or character of persons except in their official or public 
capacity. 

V. A Member, who wishes to move a resolution, shall 
give notice in writing to the Secretary, at least fifteen clear 
days before the meeting of the Council at which he desires to 
move the same, and shall, together with the notice, submit a 
copy of the resolution which he wishes to move : 

Provided that the President may allow a resolution to be 
moved with shorter notice than fifteen days, and may, in any 
case, require longer notice or may extend the time for moving 
the resolution. 

VI. ( i ) The Secretary shall submit every resolution of which 
notice has been given to him in accordance with rule V to the 
President, who may either admit it or, when any resolution is 
not framed in accordance with rule IV, cause it to be returned to 
the Member concerned for the purpose of amendment. 

(2) If the Member does not, within such time as the Presi- 
dent may fix in this behalf, re-submit the resolution duly 
amended, the resolution shall be deemed to have been with- 
drawn. 

VII. The President may disallow any resolution or part of 
a resolution without giving any reason therefor other than that 
in his opinion it cannot be moved consistently with the public 
interest or that it should be moved in the Legislative Council 
of a Local Government. 

VIII. (i) No discussion in Council shall be permitted in 
respect of any order of the President under rule VI or rule VII, 



324 COUNCIL REGULATIONS, IQOQ. 

(2) A resolution which has been disallowed shall not be 
entered in the proceedings of the Council. 

IX. Resolutions admitted by the President shall be entered 
in the list of business for the day in the order in which they are 
received by the Secretary : 

Provided that the President may give priority to any re- 
solution which he may consider to be of urgent public interest, 
or postpone the moving of any resolution. 

Discussion of Resolutions. 

X. The discussion of resolutions shall take place after all 
the other business of the day has been concluded. 

XI. (i) After the mover of a resolution has spoken, other 
Members may speak to the motion in such order as the Presi- 
dent may direct, and thereafter the mover may speak once 
by way of reply. 

(2) No Member other than the mover and the member 
in charge shall speak more than once to any motion, except, 
with the permission of the President, for the purpose of mak- 
ing an explanation. 

XII. No speech, except with the permission of the 
President, shall exceed fifteen minutes in duration : 

Provided that the Mover of a resolution, when moving 
the same, and the Member in charge may speak for thirty 
minutes. 

XIII. (i) Every Member shall speak from his place, shall 
rise when he speaks and shall address the Chair. 

(2) At any time, if the President rises, any Member 
speaking shall immediately resume his seat. 

XIV. (i) Any Member may send his speech in print to 
the Secretary not less than two clear days before the day 
fixed for the discussion of a resolution, with as many copies 
as there are members and the Secretary shall cause one of 
such copies to be supplied to each Member. 

(2) Any such speech may at the discretion of the 
President be taken as read. 

XV. The discussion of a resolution shall be limited to 
the subject of the resolution, and shall not extend to any 
matter as to which a resolution may not be moved. 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 325 

XVI. When a resolution is under discussion any Member 
may, subject to all the restrictions and conditions relating 
to resolutions specified in rules III and IV, move an amendment 
to such resolution : 

Provided that an amendment may not be moved which 
has merely the effect of a negative vote. 

XVII. (i) If a copy of such amendment has not been sent 
to the Secretary at least three clear days before the day fixed 
for the discussion of the resolution, any Member may object 
to the moving of the amendment ; and such objection shall 
prevail unless the President in exercise of his power to suspend 
any of these rules allows the amendment to be moved. 

(2) The Secretary shall, if time permits, cause every 
amendment to be printed and send a copy for the informa- 
tion of each Member. 

XVIII. A Member who has moved a resolution or an 
amendment of a resolution may withdraw the same unless some 
Member desires that it be put to the vote. 

XIX. When, in the opinion of the President, a resolution 
and any amendment thereto have been sufficiently discussed, 
he may close the discussion by calling upon the Mover to 
reply and the Member in charge to submit any final observa- 
tions which he may wish to make : 

Provided that the President may in all cases address the 
Council before putting the question to the vote. 

XX. (i) When an amendment to any resolution is moved, 
or when two or more such amendments are moved, the 
President shall, before taking the sense of the Council thereon, 
state or read to the Council the terms of the original motion 
and of the amendment or amendments proposed. 

(2) It shall be in the discretion of the President to put 
first tc the vote either the original motion or any of the 
amendments which may have been brought forward. 

XXI. If any resolution involves many points, the President 
at his discretion may divide it, so that each point may be 
determined separately. 

XXII. (i) Every question shall be resolved in the affirma- 
tive or in the negative according to the majority of votes. 

(2) Votes may be taken by voices or by division and 
shall be taken by division if any Member so desires, 



326 COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 

(3) The President shall determine the method of taking 
votes by division. 

General. 

XXIII. (i) The President may assign such time as, with 
due regard to the public interests, he may consider reasonable 
for the discussion of resolutions or of any particular resolution. 

(2) Every resolution which shall not have been put to 
the vote within the time so assigned shall be considered to 
have been withdrawn. 

XXIV. Every resolution, if carried, shall have effect only 
as a recommendation to the Governor-General in Council. 

XXV. When a question has been discussed at a meeting 
of the Council, or when a resolution has been disallowed under 
rule VII or withdrawn under rule XVIII, no resolution or 
amendment raising substantially the same question shall be 
moved within one year. 

XXVI. \i) The President shall preserve order, and all 
points of order shall be decided by him. 

(2) No discussion on any point of order shall be allowed 
unless the President thinks fit to take the opinion of the 
Council thereon. 

(3) Any Member may at any time submit a point of 
order to the decision of the President. 

(4) The President shall have all powers necessary for 
the purpose of enforcing his decisions. 

XXVII. The Governor-General may appoint a Member 
of the Council to preside in his place, or in that of the Vice- 
President, on any occasion on which a matter of general public 
interest is discussed in the Council. 

XXVIII. The President, for sufficient reason, may suspend 
any of the foregoing rules. 

IV. Regulations for the Asking of Questions in the Legislative 
Council of the Governor-General. 

I. In these rules 
(i) "President" means ~ 

(a) the Governor-General, or 

(b) the President nominated by the Governor-General in 
Council under Section 6 of the Indian Councils Act, 1861, or, 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 327 

(c) the Vice-President appointed by the Governor-General 
under section 4 of the Indian Councils Act, 1909. 

(2) "Member in charge" means the Member of the 
Council of the Governor-General to whom is allotted the 
business of the Department of the Government of India to 
which the subject of the question belongs, and includes any 
Member to whom such Member in charge may delegate any 
function assigned to him under these rules ; and 

(3) "Secretary" means the Secretary to the Government 
of India in the Legislative Department, and includes the 
Deputy Secretary and every person for the time being 
exercising the functions of the Secretary. 

II. Any question may be asked by any Member subject 
to the following conditions and restrictions. 

III. No question shall be permitted in regard to any of 
the following subjects, namely : 

a any matter affecting the relations of His Majesty's 
Government or of the Governor-General in Council with any 
Foreign State or with any Native State in India, or 

(b) any matter under adjudication by a Court of law 
having jurisdiction in any part of His Majesty's Dominions. 

IV. No question shall be asked unless it complies with 
the following conditions, namely : 

(a) it shall be so framed as to be merely a request for 
information, 

(b) it shall not be of excessive length, 

(c) it shall not contain arguments, inferences, ironical 
expressions or defamatory statements, nor shall it refer to the 
conduct or character of persons except in their official or 
public capacity, and 

(d) it shall not ask for an expression of an opinion or the 
solution of a hypothetical proposition. 

V. In matters which are or have been the subject of 
controversy between the Governor- General in Council and 
the Secretary of State or a Local Government no question 
shall be asked except as to matters of fact, and the answer 
shall be confined to a statement of facts. 

VI. A member who wishes to ask a question shall give 
notice in writing to the Secretary at least ten clear days 



32$ COUNCIL REGULATIONS, 1909. 

before the meeting of the Council at which he desires to put 
the question and shall, together with the notice, submit a 
copy of the question which he wishes to ask : 

Provided that the President may allow a question to be 
put with shorter notice than ten days and may in any case 
require longer notice or may extend the time for answering a 
question. 

VII. (i) The Secretary shall submit every question of 
which notice has been given to him in accordance with rule 
VI to the President, who may either allow it or, when any 
question is not framed in accordance with rules IV and V, cause 
it to be returned to the Member concerned for the purpose 
of amendment. 

(2; If the Member does not, within such time as the 
President may fix in this behalf, resubmit the question duly 
amended, the question shall be deemed to have been with- 
drawn. 

VIII. The President may disallow any question, or any 
part of a question, without giving any reason therefor other than 
that in his opinion it cannot be answered consistently with 
the public interests or that it should be put in the Legislative 
Council of a Local Government. 

IX. No discussion in Council shall be permitted in respect 
of any order of the President under rule VII or rule VIII. 

X. Questions which have been allowed shall be entered 
in the list of business for the day and shall be put in the 
order in which they stand in the list before any other business 
is entered upon at the meeting. 

XL Questions shall be put and answers given in such 
manner as the President may in his discretion determine. 

XII. Any Member who has asked a question may put a 
supplementary question for the purpose of further elucidating 
any matter of fact regarding which a request for information 
has been made in his orginal question. 

XIII. The Member in charge may decline to answer a 
supplementary question without notice, in which case the 
supplementary question may be put in the form of a fresh 
question at a subsequent meeting of the Council. 

XIV. These rules, except rules VI and VII, apply also to 
supplementary questions : 



COUNCIL REGULATIONS, ICjOQ. 329 

Provided that the President may disallow any supplemen- 
tary question without giving any reason therefor. 

XV. The President may rule that an answer to a question 
in the list of business for the day shall be given on the ground 
of public interest even though .the question may have been 
withdrawn. 

XVI. No discussion shall be permitted in respect of any 
question or of any answer given to a question. 

XVII. All questions asked and the answers given shall 
be entered in the proceedings of the Council : 

Provided that no question which has been disallowed by 
the President sha)l be so entered. 

XVIII. The President may assign such time as, with due 
regard to the public interests, he may consider reasonable for 
the putting and answering of questions. 



42 



THE RESOLUTION OF THE GOVERNOR-GENERAL IN 
COUNCIL No. 4213, DATED THE ISTH OF NOVEMBER, 1909. 



With the approval of the Secretary of State in Council, 
the Governor-General in Council has to-day brought into oper- 
ation the Indian Councils Act, 1909, and has published the 
rules and regulations relating to the nomination and election 
of the members of the enlarged Legislative Councils. This act 
marks the completion of the earnest and prolonged deliber- 
ations that were initiated by the Viceroy more than three 
years ago, when he appointed a Committee of his Executive 
Council to consider and report on the general question of 
giving to the peoples of India a larger measure of political re- 
presentation and wider opportunities of expressing their views 
on administrative matters. 

2. The various stages of inquiry and discussion which 
followed need not be reviewed at length. In the Home 
Department letter of the 24th August 1907, the Government 
of India put forward certain provisional and tentative pro- 
posals, and invited the local Governments to submit their 
matured conclusions, after consulting important bodies and 
individuals representing the various classes of the community. 
The voluminous opinions elicited by that letter were fully 
dealt with in the Despatch which the Government of India 
addressed to the Secretary of State on the ist October 1908, 
and in LORD MORLEY'S Despatch of the 2/th November fol- 
lowing. Since those papers were published, the Government 
of India have been engaged, in communication with the Secre- 
tary of State, in working out the principles accepted by him, 
and the scheme finally adopted for the future constitution o 
the Legislative Councils is embodied in the Indian Councils 
Act and in the Regulations which are published to-day. The 
Governor-General in Council will now proceed to state briefly 
the extent and nature of the changes introduced and to indi- 
cate in what respects they differ from the proposals contained 
in the papers already published. 

3. The maximum strength of each Council is fixed by 
the first schedule of the Act. Excluding the head of the 



THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, 1909. 



331 



Government and the members of the Executive Councils, it 
varies from 60 for the Council of the Governor-General, to 
30 for the Councils of the Punjab and Burma, the number 
for each of the other five Provincial Councils being 50. The 
actual strength of each Council is determined by the Regu- 
lations : the statutory maximum will at present be worked up 
to only in the Imperial and Bengal Councils, but as will be seen 
from the annexed statements the numbers are in every case 
slightly larger than those shown in the Despatch of the ist 
October 1908. 

4. For the reasons given by the Secretary of State in 
his Despath of 27th November 1908, there will continue to 
be a majority of officials in the Governor-General's Council, 
but the Regulations provide not only that there may be, but 
that there must be, a majority of non-official members in every 
Provincial Council. The following statement, from which the 
head of the Government is in each case excluded, shows the 
effect of this great constitutional change on the composition of 
each Council. It will be within the power of a local Govern- 
ment to increase the non-official majority by nominating less 
than the maximum number of officials and substituting non- 
officials, but that majority can not be reduced except to the 
limited extent indicated below and then only for a specified 
period or in connecton with a particular measure : 



Legislative Council of 


Officials. 


Non-officials. 


Majority. 








Official 


India 


35 


32 


3 


Madras 


19 


26 


Non-official. 
7 


Bombay 


17 


28 


ii 


Bengal 


17 


3 1 


14 


United Provinces 


20 


26 


6 


Eastern Bengal and Assam 


17 


23 


6 


Punjab 


10 


14 


4 


Burma 


6 


6 


3 



These figures relate to the ordinary constitution of the 
Councils and leave out of account the two experts who may 
be appointed members of each Provincial Council when the 
legislation in hand is of a nature to demand expert advice. 



332 THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, 

If these members are non-officials the majority will be streng- 
thened, and even if both are officials it will not be entirely 
neutralised. The strength of the non-official majority varies 
with local conditions. 

5. Special provision has been made for the represent- 
ation of the professional classes, the landholders, the Maho- 
medans, European commerce, and Indian commerce. The 
first of these interests will be represented on the Governor- 
General's Council by the members elected by the Provincial 
Legislative Councils and by the district Councils and Muni- 
cipal Committees in the Central Provinces ; and on the Provin- 
cial Councils by the representatives of the District Boards, the 
Municipalities, the Corporations of the Presidency towns 
and the Universities. The others will be represented upon 
all the Councils by members elected by special electorates 
or nominated under an express provision of the Regulations. 
The representative of the Bombay landholders on the 
Governor-General's Council will be elected at the first, third 
and subsequent alternate elections by the landholders of Sind, 
a great majority of whom are Mahomedans, while at other 
elections he will be elected by the Sardars of Gujerat or the 
Sardars of the Deccan, a majority of whom are Hindus. Again 
the landholders of the Punjab consists of about equal numbers 
of Mahomedans and non-Mahomedans and it may be 
assumed that their representative will be alternately a Maho- 
medan and non-Mahomedan. It has accordingly been 
decided that at the second, fourth, and succeeding alternate 
elections when these two seats will presumably not be held by 
Mahomedans, there shall be two special electorates consisting 
of the Mahomedan landholders who are entitled to vote for 
the member who represents in the Governor-General's Council 
the land-holders of the United Provinces and Eastern Bengal 
and Assam respectively. In some Provinces there are special 
interests such as the tea and jute industries in Eastern Bengal 
and Assam and the planting communities in Madras and 
Bengal, for which special provision has been made. The 
representation of minor interests and smaller classes will be 
provided for by nominations made from time to time as the 
particular needs of the moment and the claims of each com- 
munity may require. 

6. In the Despatch of the ist October 1908 it was explained 
that some of the seats there shown as elective might at first 



THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, IQOQ. 333 

have to be filled by nomination, pending the formation of suit- 
able electorates. Further inquiry has shown their course to be 
unavoidable at present in respect of (i) the representative of 
Indian Commerce in all Councils expect that of the Governor 
of Bombay ; (2) the representatives of the landholders and the 
Mahomedan community of the Punjab on the Governor- 
General's Council ; and (3) the representative of the planting 
community on the Bengal Council. The Regulations, however, 
provide that a member must be nominated to represent each of 
these interests ; and it is the intention of the Governor-General 
in Council to substitute election for nomination wherever a 
workable electorate can be formed. 

7. It will be seen that the Regulations have been divided 
into two parts, first, the substantive Regulations, which deal 
with all matters of general application, and, secondly, a series 
of separate Schedules defining the constitution of each 
electorate and prescribing the electoral procedure to be adopted 
in each case. 

8. The qualifictions required for both candidates and 
voters are specified in the Schedules, but the disqualifications, 
which apply generally, are given in the Regulations. The only 
voters disqualified are females, minors, and persons of unsound 
mind, but for candidates wider restrictions are obviously 
necessary and these are set forth under nine heads in Regulation 
IV. The last of these provides that no person shall be eligible 
for election if he has been declared by the Government of 
India or the local Government to be of such reputation and 
antecedents that his election would, in the opinion of the Govern- 
ment, be contrary to the public interests. The Act of 1892 
laid down that an elected candidate must be nominated by the 
head of the Government before he could take his seat on the 
Council. It thus gave power to exclude a candidate whose 
presence would bring discredit upon the Council, and although 
this power was never exercised, yet it served a useful purpose 
in deterring such persons from coming forward for election. If 
the dignity and representative character of the Legislative 
Councils are to be maintained, there must be some means of 
excluding unworthy candidatures, though recourse to it would 
be of rare occurrence, and the disqualification imposed would 
not necessarily be permanent. 

9. In accordance with the practice of the House of Com- 
mons and of other British Legislatures, members of the enlarged 



334 THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, 1 909. 

Councils must, before taking their seats, make an oath or 
affirmation of allegiance to the Crown. 

10. If a candidate is elected for more than one electorate 
he is required by Regulation IX to choose for which electorate 
he will sit. The votes recorded for him in any electorate for 
which he decides not to sit will be deemed not to have been 
given, and the seat will go to the candidate who would have 
been elected but for such votes. This is in accordance with the 
procedure prescribed for ward elections in the city of Bombay, 
and it has the advantages of rendering a fresh election un- 
necessary. 

11. The normal term of office has been extended from 
two to three years, but a member elected to fill a casual vacancy 
will sit only for the unexpired portion of the outgoing member's 
term. This provision is necessary to meet the case of 
electorates which elect by rotation. To deprive such a consti- 
tuency of its representation for what might be a considerable 
portion of the term allotted to it would be unfair ; while to 
allow the constituency of the out-going member (who might 
have sat for nearly the full term) to elect another member for a 
further period of three years would be open to still greater 
objections. The provision is also required to secure the reten- 
tion of the advantages of cumulative voting in two-member 
constituencies. 

12. It has been expressly laid down that corrupt practices 
shall render an election invalid. There is no such provision in the 
existing Regulations but the great extension of the principle of 
election and the probability of keen contests render it desirable 
to provide safe-guards against the employment of improper 
practices. The definition of "corrupt practices'' is taken from 
the Bombay District Municipalities Act. It covers false per- 
sonation on the part of a voter and the use of threats of injury, 
as well as the actual purchase of votes by the candidate or 
his agent. 

13. Any person who is qualified as a voter or a candidate 
may question the validity of an election and apply to the 
Government of India or the local Government, as the case 
may be, to set it aside. After such inquiry as may be neces- 
sary, the Government may declare whether the candidate whose 
election is questioned was duly, elected ; or whether any, and 
if so, what other person was duly elected ; or whether the elec- 
tion was void (Regulation XVI). An election will not, how- 



THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, IQOQ. 335 

ever, be set aside on the ground of minor irregularities which 
do not affect the result (Regulation XV). 

14. In most cases the electorates are sufficiently defined 
in the Regulations ; where more detailed information is neces- 
sary, this has been given in the Schedules prescribing the 
electoral procedure. Where the electorates are scattered, as is 
the case with the landholders and the Mahomedans, provision 
has been made for the preparation and publication of an elec- 
toral roll containing the names of all persons qualified to vote. 
After the first election this roll will be brought under revision 
from time to time, when claims and objections will be decided ; 
but the roll actually in force at the time of any election will be 
conclusive evidence on the question whether any person has the 
right to vote. The Governor-General in Council regrets that it 
has not been possible to allow claims to be made or objections to 
be taken in respect of the first roll. The qualifications upon 
which each roll is based could not be announced until the 
Regulations had received the approval of the Secretary of State, 
and no revision of the roll could be undertaken until the new 
Act had been brought into operation. At least two months 
would have to be devoted to the disposal of claims and objec- 
tions, and it is probable that even at the end of that period 
some cases would still be pending. It would thus be impossible 
to constitute the Provincial Councils before March 1910, and 
the Governor-General's Council could not assemble before the 
end of that month or the beginning of April. The consequent 
loss of the whole of the legislative season would cause so much 
inconvenience that it would be necessary to defer putting the Act 
into operation and to postpone the assembling of the new Councils 
until the session of 1910-11. The Governor-General in Council 
is sensible of the objections to holding an election on a register 
which has not been subjected to the test of revision, but he is 
convinced that those objections are greatly out-weighed by the 
keen disappointment that would be caused by further delay in 
introducing the constitutional changes which have now been 
under discussion for more than three years. Moreover, the danger 
of improper omission or inclusion is comparatively small. 
The two principal qualifications are payment of land revenue 
and income-tax, the records of which are detailed and complete 
and steps were taken before-hand to ensure, as far as possible 
that doubtful cases and claims based on other qualifications 
should be brought to notice. The Governor-General in 
Council believes that the great majority of those interested in 



336 THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, 1909, 

the question will recognise the difficulties of the situation, and 
will acquiesce in the dicision to prefer the possibility of some 
small degree of error affecting only a few individuals to the 
certainty of further prolonged delay in the assembling of the 
new Councils. 

15. The qualifications prescribed for electors in the cases 
of the landholders and the Mahomedans vary greatly from 
province to province. They are in accordance, for the most part, 
with the specific recommendations of the Local Governments, 
and these recommendations again were based upon inquiries 
made by a special officer appointed in each province to as- 
certain by personal consultation the wishes of the members of 
the two communities. The Governor-General in Council 
would have preferred some nearer approach to uniformity ; 
but the principle he has borne in mind is that election by the 
wishes of the people is the ultimate object to be secured and 
he has felt that he must be guided by the advice of the local 
authorities as to what those wishes are. The status and 
circumstances both of the landholders and of the Mahomedan 
community differ widely from province to province, and 
qualifications which would produce a satisfactory constituency 
in one case would in another give an electorate insignificant 
in numbers and deficient in representative character. 

1 6. The qualifications for candidates are, as a rule, the 
same as those prescribed for voters, but in some cases, such as 
that of candidates for election to the Governor-General's 
Council by the non-official members of a Provincial Council, 
any such restriction would be inappropriate. In other instances, 
there has been some difference of treatment in different pro- 
vinces, but the object in all cases has been to secure that the 
member shall really represent the electorate. 

17. The different kinds of electoral machinery may be 
broadly classified under two main heads, one under which 
the electors vote direct for the members and the other under 
which they select delegates by whom the members are elected. 
A subsidiary distinction in each case is that the electors or 
delegates either vote at a single centre before a Returning 
Officer, or vote at different places before an Attesting Officer, 
who despatches the voting papers to the Returning Officer. A 
further distinction in the case of delegates is that in Bengal 
each delegate has a varying number of votes, the number 
depending in the case of District Boards and Municipalities 



THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, IQCX), 337 

upon the income of those bodies, and in the case of the Maho- 
medan community upon the strength and importance of the 
Mahomedan population of a district or group of districts. 
Elsewhere the same object has been attained by varying the 
number of delegates on like grounds, each delegate then having 
only one vote. In the Central Provinces, however, the number 
of delegates to be elected by each District Council and 
Municipal Committee has been fixed, not with sole reference to 
income or population, but with regard to a number of factors, of 
which those two are perhaps the most important. 

1 8. A special case of voting by delegates is that of the 
election of a member of the Governor-General's Council to 
represent the Mahomedan community of Bombay. The 
delegates in this case are not appointed ad hoc, but consist of 
the Mahomedan members of the Provincial Council. This 
exceptional method has been admitted on the assurance of the 
Governor in Council that the Mahomedan community of the 
Presidency as a whole would be better represented by the 
Mahomedan members of the Provincial Council than by any 
form of direct electorate that could be devised. 

19. The procedure for voting is generally similar to that 
prescribed by the English Ballot Act. In some cases, however, 
such as the elections by the Corporations of the Presidency 
Towns, the Chambers of Commerce and the Trades Associa- 
tions, the voting will, as at present, be regulated by the proce- 
dure usually adopted by those bodies for the transaction of 
their ordinary business. 

20. The rules authorising the moving and discussion of 
resolutions, the discussion of the Budget, and the asking of 
questions have been framed in accordance with the decisions on 
these matters which have already been announced. In the 
rules relating to the discussion in the Governor-General's 
Council of matters of general public interest it is provided that 
no discussion shall be allowed in regard to subjects removed 
from the cognisance of the Council by the Indian Councils Act of 
1 86 1, or matters affecting the foreign relations of His Majesty's 
Government or the Government of India, or matters which are 
sub-judice. The President may also disallow any resolution on 
the ground that its introduction is opposed to the public 
interest, or that it should be moved in the Legislative Council 
of a Local Government. Subject to these necessary restrictions, 
a resolution may be moved regarding any matter of general 

43 



33$ THE RESOLUTION ON THE REFORMS, IQOQ. 

public interest and all such resolutions may be fully discussed 
and put to the vote. The President may assign such time as 
he may consider reasonable for the discussion of resolutions or 
of any particular resolution, 

The examination of the annual financial proposals in the 
Governor-General's Council will be divided into three parts. 
There will first be an opportunity for discussing any alteration in 
taxation, any new loan, or any grant to Local Governments 
proposed or mentioned in the financial statement or the ex- 
planatory memorandum accompanying it. In the second 
stage, each head or group of heads of revenue or expenditure 
not excluded from discussion will be explained by the member 
in charge of the administrative department concerned and any 
member may then move a resolution relating to these subjects. 
The final stage consists of the presentation of the Budget by 
the Finance Member, who will explain why any resolutions 
passed by the Council have not been accepted. A general 
discussion of the Budget will follow, but at this stage no reso- 
lution may be moved. 

The rules for the asking of questions are substantially the 
same as those hitherto in force, with the important exception 
that they permit a member who has asked a question to put a 
supplementary question. 

In respect of these matters each Provincial Council is 
governed by rules of its own, which in essentials differ but little 
from those of the Governor-General's Council. One distin- 
guishing feature, however, is that the local financial statement 
is first examined by a Committee of the Council consisting 
of t